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Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Here are my best movie awards for films I watched in 2013. As always, several of these may have crude language, violence, and/or sexual situations. If you want to know the content of any of these films, go to movieguide.org or pluggedin.com.

Best Drama

~ The Place Beyond the Pines

This film was so good, I saw it twice in the theater; the second time with a bunch of buddies after which we went to a bar to further discuss the film (later, one friend wrote up a "review" of sorts here).  The movie asks some hard-hitting questions about fatherhood, fate, and the role of each in our lives.  The film is basically filmed in three parts... it starts by following the life of Luke (played by Ryan Gosling), a loser with a temper who wants to do right by his son but can't pull himself out of his sinful and criminal past.  About halfway through, it switches protagonists to Avery (played by Bradley Cooper), who is trying to get out from under his own father's shadow.  Then last of all, the film again switches its character focus to look at the lives of Luke's and Avery's sons.  I won't spoil it beyond that, but I highly recommend this film as the most thought-provoking of the year.

Honorable Mention: Prisoners, Les Miserables, The Impossible, 42, Biutiful, Robot and Frank

Best Comedy

~ The Way Way Back

Most of the comedies I saw this year were not funny.  So it wouldn't have taken much to win this category, but along came this film which blew the other ones out of the water.  Starring Steve Carell (in a serious role, ironically enough) and Sam Rockwell (in a brilliantly hilarious role), this coming-of-age movie about two single parents taking their kids on a joint summer vacation gives you a lot of laughs while saying some good things about marriage, being a man, and other hard topics.

Honorable Mention:  The Heat, The Kings of Summer

Best Action

~ Gravity

Just like last year, this is a tight category with so many good action films in 2013.  But there really isn't any movie that could be in the top spot except this one.  I saw Gravity in IMAX 3D, which is really the best way to see this ground-breaking, breath-snatching film.  If you haven't been living under a rock in the last four months, then you know the basic premise: a team of astronauts gets stranded floating in space.  On paper, it may seem like a concept that offers little in terms of plot but plenty of physics-defying holes.  But in reality, while simple, the plot and script was powerful, profound, and well-executed.  And, contrary to some negative comments I've heard, the ending was perfect.

Honorable Mention: The Hobbit, Bourne Legacy, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty, Olympus Has Fallen, Iron Man 3, Jack Reacher, Star Trek Into Darkness, End of Watch, Man of Steel, Catching Fire

Best Family/Kids

~ Frozen

Whew, this was a tight category, with two deserving films in "Frozen" and "Wreck-It Ralph".  But ultimately, I had to go with the one that had the best (and most unexpected) messages.  "Frozen" isn't perfect, but I thought it largely avoided the ditch of "real princesses don't need men" and the other ditch of "evil is just misunderstood", all the while ridiculing the silly notion of love at first sight and the typical fairy tale plot twist involving "love's true kiss".  Love is depicted as something that reveals itself through sacrifice, not infatuation.  Our whole family loved this movie.

Honorable Mention: Wreck-It Ralph, Despicable Me 2, Monsters U, Jack the Giant Slayer, The Croods, Rise of the Guardians

Best Foreign

~ King of Devil's Island

I didn't see a lot of foreign films this year, so the options are a tad limited.  This Norwegian film offers a stark look at life in a real-life boys' juvenile detention center in Norway about a century back.

Honorable Mention:  Biutiful, Going by the Book

Best Movie You've Never Heard Of

~ Robot and Frank

I really enjoyed this little indie film. It's a quiet, subtly moving tale about aging, family, and cat burglary.  I really recommend it.

Honorable Mention: Mud, Dredd, Prisoners

Worst Movie of the Year

~ This is the End

Stupid, crude, inane, stupid.  That pretty well describes this movie.  I should have done more research before seeing this piece of trash.  Don't waste your time.

Honorable Mention: Now You Can See Me, Taken 2
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Here are my best movie awards for films I watched in 2012. As always, several of these may have crude language, violence, and/or sexual situations. If you want to know the content of any of these films, go to movieguide.org or pluggedin.com.

Best Drama

~Warrior

First of all, the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), the boxing of the 21st century, doesn't interest me. It's unnecessarily violent and injury-prone.  So when I first heard about this little movie called "Warrior" coming out, I didn't give it a second thought. But then a friend or two had some glowing things to say about it, so I thought I'd check it out.  Wow, am I glad I did.  It will remain one of my favorite movies of all-time for many years to come, so much so that I've already re-watched the last 30 minutes of the film a half dozen times.  From a great story of redemption to brilliant acting (Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy deserved Oscars) to one of the greatest closing songs ever, this powerful movie was easily my favorite of the year.  I give additional props to the production team in leaving out unnecessary R-rated content which could have so easily found its way into the film.

Honorable Mention: The Descendants, Win Win, A Separation, Looper, Argo, Flight, Anna Karenina, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Safety Not Guaranteed

Best Comedy

~ The Guard

There were some high-profile comedies released this past year, and while some were very good (Silver Linings Playbook and Seven Psychopaths) and others overrated (Moonrise Kingdom), the one that stood out for me as the funniest film I saw this year was "The Guard".  Starring Brendan Gleeson (a comic genius) and Don Cheadle, this movie is about a rural Irish cop in over his head (or is he?) in dealing with drug dealers and hit men.  It's hilarious.

Honorable Mention:  The Muppets, What to Expect When You're Expecting, Silver Linings Playbook, Hope Springs, Ted, Seven Psychopaths

Best Action

~ The Avengers

This is a tough category, as there were so many solid action films this year.  But in the end, I have to give it to the Avengers.  Not much needs to be said about a movie that blew away nearly every box office record this past summer, so suffice it to say that this film was WAY more fun than it had any right to be and was the first movie to make The Hulk actually fun.  Once again, Joss Whedon proves himself a genius behind the camera.

Honorable Mention: The Man from Nowhere, Ip Man 1&2, Safe House, Chronicle, Men in Black 3, Dark Knight Rises, Looper, Headhunters, Skyfall

Best Family/Kids

~ The Muppets

While action movies were doing well in 2012, family flicks were experiencing a down year.  There were several decent ones, but nothing great.  So I'm giving it to the Muppets for once again charming a new generation.  Sit down with your family and check out this film for all ages.

Honorable Mention: Hugo, Madagascar 3, Tintin, The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Best Chick Flick

~ Anna Karenina

My wife and I had to go to a little single-screen indie theater to catch the new cinematic edition of Tolstoy's masterpiece, "Anna Karenina".  We found ourselves surrounded by Russian expats, some of whom probably hadn't been to a theater since Omar Sharif played the titular character in Dr Zhivago.  And like that 1965 film, the story of Karenina centers on her marital infidelity and the huge costs that comes with it.  A lesser director would have merely followed the script laid out for him by Tolstoy.  But this director dazzles the viewer with a unique film set that evokes a Russian theatre.  Quite enjoyable!

Honorable Mention: What to Expect When You're Expecting, Hope Springs, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Best Foreign

~ The Man from Nowhere / Ip Man

I can't choose, so I'm naming two movies as the best foreign flicks of the year.  "The Man from Nowhere" is a great Korean film about a man with a secret who comes to the aid of a neighbor.  "Ip Man" is actually two movies, the first takes place during in China during WWII, while the other shows us a few years later.  Ip Man was Bruce Lee's master, and this story of heroism was very enjoyable to watch.

Honorable Mention:  Headhunters, A Separation

Best Movie You've Never Heard Of

~ Safety Not Guaranteed

This was a fun little flick about time travel that avoids some of the cliches and mistakes of other films while giving us some real character depth.  The ending is not one you see coming...

Honorable Mention: Jeff Who Lives at Home, Rampart

Worst Movie of the Year

~ One Day

Vacuous and depressing, this one is not worth a rental.  And if you come across it in a few years on TNT, you may want to consider immediately calling Comcast to cancel your cable subscription.  Enough said.

Honorable Mention: The Lorax, Friends with Kids, Moonrise Kingdom (mostly because of how over-hyped it was)
Tuesday, July 03, 2012

How to Make Your Own Diagonal Bookshelf

The bookshelf in the picture above took 20-30 hours to build and $200-250 in material costs (using poplar wood).  For a general idea of how to do your own custom diagonal shelf, here is how I did it.

  1. I chose to do a full-wall shelf, both in height and width.  In my case, this meant going up and around a hallway, and since the other side was too skinny to really employ a diagonal shelf, I made that portion a typical straight shelf.  I measured all of the primary outside dimensions and then modeled the shelf with 3D CAD software, from which I could then pull dimensions for all the boards, as well as be able to play around a little with the design.  For example, pictured in the image below is an option with corner cupboard doors.  *NOTE: If you send me the overall dimensions of your bookshelf idea, I could quickly model it up for you.*
         

  1. Once I had my overall dimensions, I had to choose how to space the individual shelves and how deep to make the bookshelf.  I chose to make each shelf “compartment” 12”x12”, which is a little large for most books but allows pretty much all normal books to fit (as you can see above).  Making the compartments smaller will mean more compartments which means more space for books, but it also means more notching and thus more work.  Originally, I planned to make the shelf out of 1”x10” oak boards, but in order to save about 60% on material costs, I chose 1”x8” poplar boards instead (real dimensions are ¾”x7¼”).  Almost all books are less than 7” deep, so this ended up working well.  A couple things to consider though: 1) an 8” nominal depth may not work as well if you choose to include any cupboard storage space; 2) if you’re using a lighter colored stain for the bookshelf, poplar may not be a good choice as it tends to come a bit discolored and has an uneven grain.  It works great, however, if you stain it dark as I did.

  1. I chose to stain the wood prior to making any cuts, though this was primarily due to schedule considerations.  In hindsight, it may be best to make all the cuts and notches prior to any finishing work.  In my case, I had to go back and do a little touch-up with stain on a few pieces, and then covered it all in polyurethane finish prior to final assembly.
 
  1. I cut all the angled miter ends with a Skil-Saw set at a 45 deg angle.  Once this was done, I measured and marked the centers of the notches.  

  1. I made all the notches with a router using a ¾” straight dado bit, which worked like a charm.  To cut the notches straight, I clamped a square to the board to hold the router against.  It was easiest to make the cuts by making three router passes per notch.  I had to take care to notch all like-sloped parallel boards from the same face (either front or back), and notched them a little more than halfway through the board.  Since the boards ran a tad thicker than ¾”, I had to go back and use a Dremel to widen the notches slightly and smooth out the notch edges.

  1. For the non-diagonal shelves, I notched the vertical boards ¼” to give better support for the shelving.

  1. Once all the boards were cut, notched, and Dremeled, I did a test fit-up to verify that all the boards fit together prior to putting on the polyurethane.  Where necessary, I used the Dremel to fix any tight notches and interferences.  Some of the boards weren’t perfectly aligned on the sides or top, so I had to cut a few of them slightly to align the ends.  Because of the size of the bookshelf, I found it necessary to assemble it near its final location in the house.  Once all the diagonals were fitted together, I used wood screws (with a pilot hole to avoid cracking the wood) to fasten them to the perimeter boards.  From there, the bookcase was easy to tip into place.

  1. The boards initially weren’t all aligned depth-wise, so I used a couple clamps to pull them into alignment and then screwed several steel brackets across the back of the shelf to hold the boards in place.

  1. I stabilized the bookshelf with some small wood shims under the baseboard, and then used two 3” steel angles, screwing them to the wall and then to the shelf.
Monday, January 02, 2012
2011 was also the year that this blog died.  Tomorrow marks the 5th anniversary of the start of this blog, so it is appropriate that I wrap it up today 880 posts later.  The blog evolved a lot over the years, but recently my interest in keeping it going has waned (in case you hadn't noticed), along with the time required to invest in it.  Three kids can tend to do that.  It was fun while it lasted.  I got to give out a bunch of books via March Madness bracket competitions, and post Best of the Year movie awards, and highlight good articles and columns by Mark Steyn, Doug Wilson, Theodore Dalrymple, among many others.

The top 5 most viewed pages:
1. Pay No Attention to that Burning Ball of Gas!
2. Babies and Abortion, Part II
3. Wilson on Twilight, Cartoon Porn, and Domestic Abuse (the traffic for this post was largely due to the word "porn" in the title)
4. I See Old People
5. A Good Sign

The most commented on post was easily this one ("Mike" and I went back and forth for awhile about the ethics of killing in defense of an innocent).

For those still reading, thanks for joining me for at least some of this five-year journey and for the occasional comment.  Adios.
Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity. - Maximus in "Gladatior"
Once again, a chance to look back on those who will not see 2012.













Harry Morgan















Andy Rooney






















Steve Jobs
























































































































Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Another year in the bag, another opportunity to highlight the best (and worst) movies of the year. 2011 ended up being a pretty solid year as far as quality films go (a summer of almost entirely comic book movies and sequels notwithstanding). Here are the ones I enjoyed from the past year or so (some of these may in fact be several years old). As always, several of these may have crude language, violence, and/or sexual situations. If you want to know the content of any of these films, go to Screenit.com or Pluggedin.com.

Best Drama

~The King's Speech

This film started slowly but gained a lot of buzz, primarily from Oscar talk, and ended up setting many records for box office longevity (it was still in the box office top 10 four months in).  And all of that popularity was well-founded.  This movie is a highly enjoyable re-telling of the circumstances surrounding the rise to power of King George VI just prior to World War II, focusing particularly on the speech impediment of George (or Bertie, if you will).  This video gives a better understanding of King George's real-life speaking difficulty.  The one thing the movie lacks is a glimpse into the courage of King George and Queen Elizabeth in leading the British through the war against the Nazis.  If you haven't seen this film, you've missed a gem.

Honorable Mention: Solitary Man, Buried, Get Low, Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows II, Midnight in Paris, The Help, The Tree of Life, Moneyball, Harry Brown, The Way Back

Best Comedy

~ Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Steve Carell reigns a second straight year atop the Best Comedy category.  Plenty of high profile comedies were released in 2011, but not many particularly funny ones.  And those that were funny were also usually excessively crude.  Crazy, Stupid, Love. is one of the exceptions, and has a reasonably good message to boot.  The film focuses on 40-something Cal Weaver, who is blindsided by his wife's revelation that she's been cheating on him and wants a divorce.  What follows is his attempt to fill the void in his life with non-committal one-night stands (with the help of Ryan Gosling) and a bachelor lifestyle.  Throw in a hilarious twist and the movie is an all-around gem compared to its 2011 competition.

Honorable Mention:  Bridesmaids, Our Idiot Brother, 50/50, the Snake Kings scene in Courageous

Best Action

~ True Grit
The wicked flee when none pursueth. Proverbs 28:1
Thus begins the best overall movie of the entire year. I have not seen the original with John Wayne, but I find it hard to believe that it could dare approach the grandeur that is the remake. Jeff Bridges is fantastic as old Rooster Cogburn, but the real star of the show is Hailee Steinfeld as Maddie Ross, the sharp-tongued teenager bent on avenging her father's murder. The movie is first and foremost an action-filled Western, but it also contains some very humorous dialogue. Maddie's banter with a horse trader is particularly enjoyable. After watching this film, I read the book and found it to be fantastic and the film very faithful to it. Once again, the Coen brothers nailed it.

Honorable Mention: The Fighter, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, X-Men: First Class, Source Code, Drive, 13 Assassins

Best Family/Kids

~ The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Oh, what a difference a new director makes.  After nearly running the entire Chronicles of Narnia franchise into the ground with the terrible Prince Caspian movie, Michael Apted (director of Amazing Grace) took over and made what was largely a successful return to the series, though it still had some rough edges.  Particularly pleasing to me was that the most critical portions of the book were handled well in the film.  I look forward to the next Narnia installment, though reports indicate that could be many years away.

Honorable Mention: Tangled, Kung Fu Panda 2, Rio, Courageous

Best Chick Flick

~ Midnight in Paris

No, that's not (necessarily) an oxymoron of a title. But the competition is usually thin, that's for sure. Midnight in Paris is a delightful little film starring Owen Wilson as a daydreaming writer who spends his nights in Paris with the who's who of great 19th and 20th century authors, only to find that his nostalgia for better days is sorely misplaced. A good lesson for us all.

Honorable Mention: Water for Elephants, all but the last ten minutes of Jane Eyre

Best Foreign

~ 13 Assassins

This Japanese film is a great piece involving samurais and honor, superb sword fights and witty banter. Unlike some other recent Asian action films (think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), 13 Assassins doesn't involve the same unrealistic stylized martial arts where gravity comes optional to every fight. Instead, it's the story of twelve honorable samurais who take on a vicious and cruel leader at no thought to their own lives.

Honorable Mention:  White Ribbon, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, John Rabe, Intacto, Downfall

Best Indie

~ The Tree of Life

I've already reviewed this film here, so suffice it to say that this great work is well-worth watching for the patient film lover.

Honorable Mention: Solitary Man, Get Low, Kill the Irishman, The Way Back, Harry Brown, Midnight in Paris

Best Documentary

~ Waiting for Superman

This doc gives a maddening inside look at some of the reasons why the public school system in this country is in the terrible state it is.  It follows the story of several students (mostly lower class, but does include an upper class child as well) as their parents attempt to find the best education possible for them, and the struggles they encounter along the way.  Every American should watch this film.

Honorable Mention: Kimjoniglia

Best Movie You've Never Heard Of

~ Get Low

This delightful little drama stars Robert Duvall as a southern hermit who has cut himself off from everyone because of guilt over past sins and mistakes.  He eventually decides to host his own funeral while he is still alive.  Check it out.

Honorable Mention: Buried, Harry Brown, The Way Back

Worst Movie of the Year

~ Easy A

While there was some competition for this award (Jason Bateman nearly took it home for a second straight year with The Switch), ultimately I had to go with this Christian-bashing, unfunny modernized telling of The Scarlet Letter.

Honorable Mention: The Switch, Due Date, I am Number Four, the last 10 minutes of Jane Eyre
Saturday, November 05, 2011
The Paul Harvey of the TV world passed away today.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
So I had my first direct run-in with (I believe) the effects of Obamacare today, and it left me with mixed feelings. The company where I work sent out the annual email update regarding the costs of health insurance premiums. Usually, we see a bit of an uptick in costs, but this year, I saw a pretty significant dip in what it will cost me to cover my family with health insurance. Pretty sweet, huh? But then I read the details a bit further and discovered that the insurance company is going to an age-based premium grid. In other words, it depends on your age for how much you pay for your insurance. And, as one would expect, the costs increase with age. So I, as a 32-year-old, pay significantly less for my insurance than I would if I were 52. And this applies to the spouses of employees as well. So while I am seeing a decent decrease in the cost of premiums this year, my fellow employees over the age of 50 are getting hit by a huge increase.

Here is my theory for what is behind these drastic changes. Obamacare has a number of policy measures which could affect the state of health insurance, but two of the most egregious are the ban of pre-existing conditions exclusions and increasing the age that dependents can remain covered to 26. Obviously, both of these have significant costs involved. And since the costs of insurance have already been skyrocketing in recent years, insurance companies have to be a little creative in how they pass along the costs to their customers (you and me).

One way, and an unintentional-yet-positive effect of Obamacare, is by pushing some free-market capitalism into the system via the age-based factor. Rather than every health insurance customer bearing the financial risk of those more likely to need health care and have 20-something "dependents" (the 50+ crowd), now those who are more likely to need health care have to pay for the increased risk inherent in their age. Meanwhile, those who are less likely to need medical care (the under-40 crowd) pay for the less-risky insurance. Overall, the insurance companies stay in business and turn a profit while distributing the new costs to the customer as required by basic laws of free market enterprise. Any time some semblance of capitalism can be injected into an anything-but-free market system like health insurance, it's a good thing. So I like that.

On the other hand, it's merely hiding the costs with those who are least likely to do much about it and most likely to just die. Old people now bear even more of the brunt of the rising costs of health care, while young people think that everything is getting cheaper. In the big picture, the costs have gone up, and the State is forcing insurance companies to decide who is worthy of their services. At least, until the State steps in again to "save the day" for old people and requires insurance companies to charge everyone equally, at which point no one will be able to afford health insurance.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I mentioned this before, but here is a great clip from the movie, A Solitary Man.

Thursday, October 06, 2011
"Take a people who are able and strong. Place them in the wealthiest land on earth. Surround them with unparalleled opportunity. Then pay them not to work, not to strive, not to achieve. Pay them to accept nonproductivity as a way of life. Agree to subsidize their families with food, shelter, health care, and money if the fathers will leave.

Do this for two or three generations and see what you produce. You will have a people who are unmotivated and dependent, whose hopes and dreams rise no higher than their subsidies - a people who have lost the work ethic, who have learned that others will take responsibility for them and who therefore assert little discipline or control over their own lives. You will have emasculated their men, making them expendable and unnecessary to their families' existence. You will have created a generation of prideless, fatherless youth who believe that receiving and taking is better than working and investing. And when you have seen the hope disappear from the eyes of the young, you can be sure you have developed an effective formula for the destruction of a people. We call it welfare." - Robert Lupton
Monday, September 12, 2011
This is a really good column by the son of Nate Saint, who was killed by the Waodani along with Jim Elliot and other missionaries in 1956. For more good reading on this subject, check out When Helping Hurts.
Often charity to help the poor attracts more people into poverty. One example I have noticed takes place when North Americans try to care for the needs of orphans in cultures different from our own. If you build really nice orphanages and provide good food and a great education, lots more children in those places become orphans. I see this happen all over. When we attempt to eradicate poverty through charity, we often attract more people into “needing” charity. It is possible to create need where it did not exist by projecting our standards, values and perception of need onto others.

So what is poverty? We in the “Wealthy West” have little understanding of “poverty.” As our standard of living has risen in developed countries, our perception of poverty has changed.

Consider how our definition of an orphan is different from most other cultures. In the U.S., you are an orphan if your mother and father have died. In South America (where I grew up), as in other contexts where extended family structures are intact, you are not really considered an orphan as long as you have a living grandparent, uncle, aunt or older brother or sister who is capable of helping take care of you. So when North Americans build an orphanage in South America, we “create” orphans by tempting family members to take advantage of our well-intentioned largess. This is seldom in the best interest of those children who are “orphaned” by our desire to meet what we perceive as their need.
Friday, August 19, 2011
"There are two ways through life. The way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you will follow."
I went with a bunch of buddies to see The Tree of Life last night and while I knew that it was going to be a unique experience, I still wasn't quite prepared for how artsy yet amazing it would be. A movie with incredible cinematography but little dialogue (I don't know that we hear the main actors speak in front of the camera until 45 minutes into the film), it centers around one main question: Why is there suffering?

Without spoiling it at all, I will say that it will make you think like few movies, and you need to be patient. The film demands an approach to it as a piece of art and to be appreciated as such. And Terrence Malick, the director, hits a couple points a little too long. But don't let that scare you off... it is an astoundingly profound movie. Don't just sit down expecting entertainment; it deserves so much more than that and will disappoint you if you don't put in the intentional effort to engage it emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. Watch it with friends, and then talk about it. It's not a film that you're likely to grasp well without discussing it with others.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This is so, so good.
For every gallon of gas that is sold in the United States, on average, the local, state and federal taxes come out to 48 cents. The average profit taken away from every gallon of gas by Exxon is --brace yourselves for unsavory news about the oil buccaneers -- 2 cents. If you don't like oil profiteering, then you really have to learn how to see our public servants as the equivalent of 24 Exxons, stacked on top of your travel plans like they were so many leeches.

Exxon feels free to take that 2 cents because they explored, researched, drilled, transported, refined, transported, and sold the gas that you were interested in buying. The government is entitled to it . . . why?

God says not to steal, and not even to think about stealing by means of coveting. We have to learn that our bad attitude toward free enterprise is caused by the larceny in our hearts. We think the way we do about oil companies because we want a piece of the action, for nothing. We don't think that way about predatory taxation for the same reason that one thief doesn't see the larceny in the heart of his fellow thieves. We are looking for the kickback.

As a wise man posted somewhere, "It's not theft if you have to fill out a form." So the devotional thought for the morning is that Jesus wants you to feel sorry for Exxon. And when we hear this call to radical discipleship, our faith staggers. Who can do these things? And the reply comes, comforting our hearts, that with God all things are possible.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
This report came out this week which shows that children are at significant risk when not living with both of their biological parents.

I was just thinking that very thing recently when I kept seeing stories in the news of deaths and abuse of children. Almost without exception, there is consistently only one parent in the picture. Example A: this gruesome story. Example B: this sad news in Missouri. Example C: the well-known Caylee Anthony death.

So sad. Hollywood doesn't show this very often ("Gone Baby Gone" is probably one of the few recent films that did). Usually, what our society (of which Hollywood is merely a mirror) tells us is that parents aren't that important. They don't have to be married, they don't have to live together. Hell, they don't even have to be different genders. No, as long as they are in love and happy, that's what matters. Meanwhile, their progeny suffers the consequences.

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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables


Darius Teichroew's favorite books »