Friday, July 30, 2010

Brilliant (but unflattering) picture of evangelical feminism

Here, courtesy of The Brave Lass via The Brothers Bayly.    Why such a brilliant picture of evangelical feminism?  Let me count the ways:

1.  The CBE author is a member of an Episcopalian church, not generally considered "Evangelical" to begin with.  Evangelical feminism is liberalism masquerading as orthodoxy.

2.  The author makes the charge that 500 years of Protestant Bible translation has wrongly "masculized" the Scripture, and is "revising" the Word to conform to her views.  Obviously those great men of God who translated the Scriptures--and directly or indirectly taught her every bit of Greek and Hebrew she knows--did not know Greek and Hebrew.  Look for the new translation to make the "NGV" (TNIV) look positively patriarchal in comparison.

3.  Look at those demands; no Christian humility for the author, let alone an actual argument from Scripture.  Nope, it'll be demands; "We're fierce, we're feminists, and we're in your face!"   That's the way to present your ideas humbly, winning them without a word.

4.  Notice the new name for God; "Godde."   Just as Christians seek to distance themselves from the word Allah in some lands, so do these ladies seek to distance themselves from the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.  (and doing a great job, mind you....not that I encourage it)

5.  Notice the conference was in Seneca Falls--home of a famous early feminist convention attended by sundry homewreckers.

My favorite part is the demand; a demand, of course, must be made by one who believes he has the right to require an action of something.  In theological matters such as these, a demand is properly a superior of an inferior.

That is, in a nutshell, where evangelical feminism leads.  It does not content itself with equality, but aims to overturn the created order--and ahem, not just with regards to men, but also with regards to God.  They are not renaming Him, they are replacing Him--and (#2) His Word. 

If so and so were alive today....

Having been to more funerals than I would have liked to attend in the past year, it is from time to time tempting to consider "well, what would so and so have said about such and such if they were in this room today?"  It could be Patton on handling our current wars, or Friedman about the current economic situation, my great aunt about education, or my mom about dietetics.

And when I consider those thoughts, I remind myself that if they were to come back, they wouldn't be talking about economics, war, education, or food.  They'd be talking about the Savior, our need to know Him, the joys of being with Him, and the terrors of being separated from Him.  How much of our lives seems so significant to us until we realize that it's just a temporary situation....

Triumph of the book.....

Not THE Book, but books in general.  As I consider how many Christians seem to view a Bible translation isn't useful anymore after twenty or thirty years, I consider the Yiddish language.

Why so?  Well, Yiddish is effectively a Hebrew-accented Middle High German.  Not modern high German dating from the 1500s and Luther (and greatly changed since then), but Middle High German--dating really from the 11th Century.  Until about a century ago (when Hebrew became the "lingua Judaica"),virtually all Ashkenazi Jews from Russia to England (and even the United States and Canada) could speak with, and write to, each other in a Yiddish that could have been understood by the original Ashkanzi Jews in the 12th Century along the Rhine.

Anyone who has ever tried to read, say, Chaucer in the original knows that, linguistically speaking, this is an extraordinary accomplishment.  What led to this? 

Very simple; they were literate, and this literacy imposed a benchmark for the understanding of their language.  We ought to consider what our "need" for a new translation every few decades really means, then; I would suggest it indicates that we are becoming a post-literate society.  Given that Christians are, like the Ashkenazi, a "People of the Book," this is not good news for us.

Another university impervious to logic... the University of Central Florida, which under contract from the federal government is developing a video game in which teens are subjected to the advances of attractive, pushy peers--all in the name of reducing teen sexual contact.  As if it would be likely that subjecting kids to, effectively, the singles bar scene would make them LESS likely to act on their hormones.

Hint; if you don't want the egg to boil, you turn the gas off, not on.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another reason to avoid the government's schools

Apparently, the NEA is endorsing celebrations of Mao's Communist takeover of China.  50 million people killed by Mao and his minions in the Cultural Revolution and other atrocities were not available for comment.

I would have hoped that an 'educator's association' like the NEA would know enough to let students know that Mao, Lenin, and Stalin made Hitler look like a choirboy in comparison.  Apparently not, and if you want your children to know real history, I'm afraid they are unlikely to learn it from anyone who is a member of the NEA.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where not to learn Logic

Loyala University of Chicago.  Why?

They rejected a speech by Karl Rove on the grounds that it would jeopardize their tax exempt status, replacing him with an Obama appointee--demonstrating that they not only did not understand laws regarding tax exempt status (Presidents and their appointees have been making commencement speeches for generations), but also demonstrated a strong political bias.

Ironically, they may be setting up the stage for someone to challenge their tax exempt status.  Oops.  They used to have a good basketball team, though.

Here's the Obama version of "transparency" in a nutshell

In the new financial services deform bill, it appears that regulatory bodies like the SEC may be exempted from Freedom of Information Act requests, according to an article from Fox News.

Since a major part of the financial meltdown of the past few years has to do with the SEC being asleep at the switch (or watching internet porn) instead of watching for the signs of toxic and fraudulent investments, it would seem that more, not less, transparency is needed there.  Evidently, however, Democrats in Congress, not to mention Mr. Obama, are having a little trouble figuring out that blocking access to information is anything but the "transparency" they promised back in 2008.

Hope and Change--congratulate our new Politburo, and let's celebrate Mr. Obama's birthday with a nice contribution to GOP candidates.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Want government in your healthcare?

Before you say "yes," take a look at this article about how the British are rejoining the ranks of civilized nations which do not have nationally run health care, as well as this article about how the centralized system in the U.K. is increasingly leading to denial of medical care.

If there were justice in this world, Congress and the President--at least those who voted for health insurance deform legislation--would be required to get their care via England's NHS.  H/T Muckraker.  The economic lesson here, of course, is that when people don't see the costs of their actions, they do not take action to avoid those costs.  Hopefully we learn this lesson here before it's too late.

14 good years today.....

....and marriage just keeps getting better and better.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quick dinner thought....

Way back in 1989, I sampled a dutch style pancake in Arnhem (site of the events of "A Bridge Too Far", and also home of a wonderful historical village of old Dutch buildings) that differed quite a bit from ordinary pancakes.  Instead of sweet and fruity toppings, it had savory things like bacon, onions, and such in it.  Last night, I finally worked to duplicate it--simply pan-fry the desired fillings, remove from the pan, pour a bit of batter in, then add the desired amount of fillings.

Yum.  Burp.  Bacon and pancakes in the same bite!

An interesting thought.....

Visiting the homes where my great aunt and mother lived last weekend, the thought occurred to me that I'd give just about anything to have them back.  And then the thought occurred to me that, given that they're now safely in the arms of their Savior, they would have been really ticked if He'd granted my request.

Update: I wonder what the thoughts were of those who were brought back to life by Elijah, Elisha, and Christ.  Did an angel give the soon to be undeceased a briefing letting them know they'd have to deal with the difficulties of this world to bring honor to their Lord, or.....?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Populism, or a great point?

White collar pencil pusher (hee hee) Tom Purcell takes his class to task for glorifying desk jobs at the expense of blue collar trades.  At one level, we could see this as simply a populist rant of "darn all those rich lawyers!", but at another level, it makes a lot of sense.    How much more prosperous wouldour country be if we did less paperwork and more real work?  To borrow a phrase from my line of work, entering data into Oracle is not a value added operation.

We could start to implement Purcell's idea by ending federal funding for student loans altogether.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another flaw in the health insurance deform law

Apparently, the building of doctor-owned hospitals is banned, and the expansion of them is heavily regulated.  So in the name of reducing overhead and reducing healthcare costs, the government has decided to require increased overhead and to create yet another barrier to entry.  Government also prohibits them from receiving Medicare and Medicaid patients--how nice if you're on that program, and a doctor owned facility is the only one within an hour of your home that does what you need done.

The article is a fascinating illustration of the theory of rent-seeking, and unfortunately, it appears that the American Hospital Association has been successful in getting their rent.

Thought on the NAACP/ Tea Party brouhaha

I'll take the NAACP seriously when it alleges racism if and when they politely but firmly tell Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the New Black Panthers that they are no longer welcome there.  I'm not holding my breath, of course, as sad to say, it seems that some of the most bigoted people around call themselves "civil rights activists."  Go figure.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Major defects with the financial services deform bill

1.  Most of the regulations are "to be determined" by regulators.  On the bright side, this may set up a way to repeal most of it through the courts, which have previously voided laws according to Article 1 of the Constitution.  Regulatory uncertainty is an economic killer.

2.  Massive set-asides for unions and other groups in a modification of proxy voting rules. 

3.  Massive paperwork requirements for ordinary transactions--it will be a killer for small business.

4.  No modification of rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose demand for mortgage securities was a large part of the real estate cataclysm.

5.  No examination of the CRA--in fact, set asides act as an expansion of the CRA.

In short, when given a choice between ways of improving and worsening the situation, Frank and Dodd chose making the situation worse with laserlike precision.

All you need to know about the financial services deform bill

It is written (ghostwritten for) by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.  Why is this significant?

Barney Frank is the financial wizard who proudly proclaimed that there were no problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they accumulated hundreds of billions of dollars worth of worthless mortgage securities.  Not coincidentally, he was sleeping with a Fannie Mae executive at the time, but somehow chose not to recuse himself from discussions for that reason.

Chris Dodd is one of the foremost recipients of Countrywide Mortgage's "Quid Pro Quo" club, where Countrywide inexplicably gave sweetheart loans to Senators who voted their way in Congress--while of course all those subprime loans Dodd was encouraging (and taking) were setting the stage for the real estate bubble to pop.

With financial acumen like this leading the way, watch out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another triumph of socialized medicine!

Reports are out that in North Korea, amputations are being performed without anesthesia, sometimes by candlelight.  More or less, due to the great success of centralized control of the economy, doctors cannot even offer the suffering a few shots of whiskey before sawing away.  In other words, North Korean medicine has become in some ways more primitive than a Revolutionary War field hospital.

It's a lot like Cuba, where in the tropics, patients at mental hospitals froze to death this winter.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More reasons why the government schools don't teach logic....

If they taught logic in the government schools, people would immediately figure out that the Fisheries and Wildlife Service's contention--that a few dozen ICE agents running surveillance towers will be too many people for the Sonoran Pronghorn, but tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are not--is absurd.

Never mind the reality that simply putting vehicle barriers out there--an option requiring no people at all after it is installed--would be a great way of reducing (not eliminating) the flow of illegals by making it far more difficult to cross that desert.

The importance of historical memory.... shown dramatically by Justice Clarence Thomas' concurring opinion in McDonald vs. Chicago, where he argues not a due process interpretation of the 14th Amendment, but rather a privileges and immunities clause--and makes the case that an 1873 case which (to many legal scholars) had rendered that clause "a nullity" was itself incorrectly decided.

It is refreshing to see a Justice understanding the limits of stare decisis--which is a necessity of legal abominations like Roe v. Wade are ever to be overturned.  It is even more refreshing to see a Justice point to the suffering of his own people occasioned by the 1873 case as a major reason for returning to the Constitution instead of abiding by a shamefully wrong decision.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life Lessons from the neighbors

My dear wife yesterday was made aware of a certain situation among our neighbors--suffice it to say it is one involving an ugly divorce--where she was told, most likely, a little more than we may have really needed to know.  What should our response be?

I would suggest that, in a case where gross sin is alleged, we might do well to simply note to the speaker "I don't know how much of this I need to know, but if indeed you can demonstrate what you're saying, I'd suggest that the police ought to know about some of this."  In doing this, we ensure that gossips are warned about the evil of gossip, and those who would commit grosser sins are warned about their error by an appropriate authority--giving both a chance to repent before it is too late.

And yes, pray for this situation, if you would.  I'm guessing that this is just the tip of the iceberg in my community, but pray, anonymously, for this.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Latin Lesson from 4H

This weekend, my daughters participated in a 4H dog showing event, and one thing which caused some confusion is that there are "beginner" classes and "novice" classes--the later not being for someone novum or "new," but rather for a fairly advanced intermediate stage.

I think I'm going to gently suggest that the intermediate classes not be labeled as "novice" anymore.....  :^)

BTW, daughter #2 got reserve grand champion in her beginner's group, missing grand champion by just 2 points--she was at 174, the winner was at 175.  Not to brag or anything, but....the dog's early training was by a certain then-out-of-work quality engineer.  :^)

Simian warriors?

WorldNetDaily reports today that apparently some of our enemies are thinking about training monkeys to attack our troops with Kalishnikovs and such--following Stalin's desire to breed super-warriors who were impervious to pain and not terribly caring about the quality of their food.

There are any number of things that are...well....amusing here.   First of all, how exactly do you train a simian intellect to clean his weapon (OK, it's just an AK, but still) without killing himself, and exactly how do you get a simian intellect to figure out who is Taliban and who is a Marine?  I can see this going disastrously wrong for that reason alone!  Can you even reliably load, hold and fire a rifle without fully opposable thumbs?

Stalin's idea is even more hilarious for a simple reason; apes and monkeys generally subsist on a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and occasionally fresh meat.  Humans, on the other hand, can subsist for quite a while on basic bread and water.  So what's the closest thing to the ideal soldier?

The human, at least until you consider that leaders tend to catch flak when there are too many grieving widows and mothers out there.

So is the report true?  I'm guessing "doubtful."

Friday, July 09, 2010

Time to gloat

I dare say that today's spy swap of the 10 or so arrested in the United States for a few arrested in Russia demonstrates that yes, indeed, they were guilty of spying. 

I'm still not quite sure why spies are swapped instead of punished, but whatever.

Five whys and modern life

One of the more popular ways of resolving quality issues in manufacturing is called the "five whys" worksheet.  More or less, you start with your problem, and then ask "why did that happen?" up to five times to arrive at root causes on the shop floor, in design, and in quality control.  Inherent in the concept is that the problem will have partial solutions in all three areas, and that the initial "blamestorming" session will not generally get to the root of the problem.  Often, you find that the problem you're trying to solve isn't even your biggest problem.  For example:

Problem; the grass is long.
Why? No one mowed it.
Why? Junior slept the day away instead of mowing the lawn.
Why? Junior is recovering from the plague.
Why? Junior got it from a rat living at his school.
Why? The janitors can't be bothered to take out the garbage.

All too often, we simply blame the one who failed to mow the lawn without investigating the motivations of that person, and as a result, rhetorically speaking, we give Junior a whipping instead of finding a new janitor who will take out the trash.  For example, when bankers are blamed for making bad loans without investigating the incentives that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the CRA created for them.

If you want good government and a good life, try and figure out who is reacting versus who actually tries to understand a situation.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Good news regarding the big oil spill

Bird rescue groups note only about 400 birds dead and dying with oil on them since the BP well started gushing 5000-50,000 barrels of oil per day.  Now it's not a good thing that 400 birds are suffering or dead, but it is remarkable that this FEW have been killed, even allowing for many not found.  Kudos to BP for their work cleaning this up, and razzies to our federal government for refusing to allow the most efficient means of cleaning up the oil spill to be used.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Why Iran will never win an Olympic Hockey medal

Or, for that matter, why they'll never get a Wal-Mart.  Why so?

They ban mullets.

Yet another reason....

.....that Americans need to pray is the "logic" of Congressman Pete Stark, who believes, apparently, that the national debt is equivalent to the national wealth.  If you doubt that Democrats cease to understand the implications of an accounting spreadsheet once they enter the corridors of power, take a look at the economic logic of this rocket scientist--yes, he is an MIT graduate.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

An interesting bit of theology

I was reading in Psalm 37 this morning, and found an interesting phrase in verse 11:

but the meek shall inherit the earth

Yes, we 've read that somewhere else, haven't we? In fact, most of the Beatitudes have a link to something said in the Psalms. And so I wonder why Christ appears to have quoted the Psalms a lot--despite our day's tendency to treat them as "only poetry," it seems that He felt there was a lot of theological meat to them.

Apart from the obvious fact that they are also God's inspired Word, He also doesn't say much about why He quotes them so often. Is it a subtle rebuke to the Sadducees, who didn't recognize the canonicity of anything but the Torah? Is it a rebuke to the Pharisees, who claimed (wrongly) to know the Law, but did not have the heart of God, as David did?

Is it a way of bringing in the heart of God to the discussion among those not of the Pharisees or Sadducees? A way of communicating that the entirety of the Tanach is indeed God's Word? A way of communicating the unity of God's Word, as Pslams are quoted next to Torah, history, and Prophets? A hint for Protestants to come 15 centuries later as to the best way to worship in song?

Or perhaps, a bit of all the above. Whatever He was thinking when He quoted Psalm 37:11 in the Beatitudes, we could do little better, I think, than to read and meditate on a Psalm today.

Monday, July 05, 2010

A bit of fun

My children have been taking care of my neighbor's dog, and as children sometimes do, they lost the key to his house while the dog was locked inside. We called the neighbor about the possibility of finding another key or calling a locksmith, and were surprised to hear our neighbor say "you know, you can open these locked doors with a credit card. Yes, our neighbor basically told us to break into his home.

Even more hilarious; he works at the federal prison here in town.

Dog is fine, and thankfully I'm not writing this from behind bars.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Here's a great scientific investigation

Evidently Michael Mann, fabricator of the infamous hockey stick graph, has been exonerated of the fourth and final charge of academic dishonesty by a group of his peers. What did the investigation consist of?

Glad you asked. According to the Fox article:

So the panel asked Mann five questions, spoke with his boss, and interviewed three other climate scientists. Case closed.


Well, we asked him and his buddies a few questions, and they all said he was innocent!

They're going to have to do a little bit more thorough work than this to make me believe they're actually doing due diligence.

Here's the union mentality for you....

....right here. Evidently, the new head of the United Auto Workers spent a lot of time growing up in a bar in Detroit (apparently, schools, parks, and movie theaters were not available to her?), and argues that if someone is smart enough to put a bolt on a car, they're smart enough to be sitting at the table of the board of directors making decisions impacting the entire business.

Now while I'm one who firmly believes that the rank and file often have some great ideas, and that management isn't always comprised of the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, the fact still remains that the guy who does a great job putting lug nuts on an F150 may not in fact have anything resembling a clue about how to run the company. This is especially the case when he belongs to a union that apparently does not understand that the cost of retirement benefits for autoworkers is indeed one of the things which caused the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler.

Maybe Ms. Estrada spent a little too much time at Leroy's U.S. Star Bar when she was a kid.

This says it all about Washington, DC

21 people are dead in a drug gang shootout in Mexico near the Arizona border, and the response of those running our nation's government is to propose comprehensive immigration reform and sue Arizona for daring to suggest that we ought to be deporting criminal illegal aliens. It is as if on February 15, 1929, the Mayor of Chicago had suggested that what really needed to be done was to reduce the number of regulations on used furniture salesmen.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy Canada Day, eh!

Today marks 143 years of Canadian independence, so hoist a cool one and eat a few donuts in honor of our neighbors to the north, eh. Don't try to give birthday spankings, though. If you're lucky, they'll check you into the nearest boards, and if you're not, they'll remember our 234th Independence Day is just three days away and return the favor.

Slight modifications have been made to today's posts in honor of the festivities, eh.

And an awful joke; back in 1867, Canada was going to get its independence, but they didn't have a name for the country. They asked around, and finally an old trapper from Manitoba came with a solution. They would draw letters out of the hat, and that would be the name of the country. Having no better ideas, they agreed, and invited the trapper to pull the letters.

Bands played, flags flew, and finally the trapper came out in a new tuxedo. All Ottawa was silent as he drew the letters oot of da hat;

C, eh

N, eh

D, eh

Here's another gem

....from Paul Greenberg of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, a reminder that human evil reminds us that there is indeed something far beyond this world to which we must answer. There are still some educated journalists out there, and Greenberg--in his spot-on imitation of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters--is certainly one of them, eh. Well done again, Paul.

Say what, eh?

Evidently the CBO has released a report saying that the national debt will reach 62% of GDP this year. OK, let's check this out:

National debt: 13 trillion dollars

GDP: about 14.6 trillion dollars, according to government statistics. (not billion, correction courtesy Pentamom)

Now I don't know what kind of math the CBO is using here, but with the arithmetic I learned, that's not 62%, but rather close to 90%. So what's going on, eh?

My assumption here is that the parameters given to the CBO ignore the portion of the national debt held by the government, which is a patently dishonest way of calculating the load--unless we've got plans in motion to repudiate the portion of the national debt held by government--e.g. the Social Security trust fund.

It's an object lesson; the "nonpartisan" CBO only calculates number using the methods prescribed for it by a clearly partisan Congress and a clearly partisan White House. Pelosi in, Reid out, eh.