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- The Assault on Families
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- Scientists with a clue (and a spine)
- Global Warming Politics = Loss of Freedom
- From Khartoum to Sydney to Hanover, the spirit of ...
- ▼ Dec 2007 (9)
Friday, December 21, 2007
I'm out for familial get-togethers, so hope you all have a great Christmas! When I return, I hope to put out a post on why a social-political conservative (especially an evangelical one) should NOT vote for Mike Huckabee. :)
Until then, I leave you with this:
Until then, I leave you with this:
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear Desire of ev'ry nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
Born a child, and yet a King,
Born to reign in us for ever,
Now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to thy glorious throne.
Now this is possibly the funniest thing I've read in quite some time. It appears that driving is actually better for the environment than walking or riding your bike, since the energy you burn walking has to be replaced with extra intakes of food, much of which takes considerable energy to produce. Read the entire article, it's worth it. I find it fun to see the global warming community reduced to levels of absurdity not seen since Jonathan Swift satirically penned his "Modest Proposal." Speaking of which, perhaps Swift's idea would be useful in such a time as this.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Here is an interesting link that I saw on a friend's blog. It flips the evolution/creation debate on its head and shows Creationism in a scientific light while depicting evolutionary theory with very religious overtones. Very cool idea!
As mentioned in the Zeal for Truth article that I linked to earlier this week, children are now being targeted as the next area needing to be "reduced" to help combat global warming, just like we're told that we must reduce our gasoline use, light bulb consumption, etc. Now, the "science" is pouring in to support that ideological idea. First, a study done in Utah indicates that more kids are bad for their parents' health, with couples who have more children dying earlier in life. Now, researchers in Britain have discovered that children from large families are shorter than those with few siblings. Nevermind that height is not the most significant factor in a child's life.
Dr Lawson stressed that his work did not look at whether a child is happier as part of a larger family.It's interesting that, as so many Western populations approach the "lowest-low" point of no return with their birth rates, many intellectuals want to further limit the amount of children. This disdain for kids is seeping out of the intelligentsia and into the general public; I routinely hear acquaintances and co-workers gripe about or sneer at any couple who DARES to have more than a couple of children. Even in the Christian community, I consistently see at least a glimmer of antipathy toward large families. And it's not just a "I don't know how they do it, I sure couldn't" sentiment; sometimes I can detect a little scorn in their voice.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Minnesota Public Radio has a survey on its website that allows you to answer a few questions on your political beliefs and then it shows you how you match up with all of the presidential candidates. My results? Not including Tom Tancredo or Duncan Hunter (since both don't have a chance of winning), the candidate that best matched my views is Fred Thompson.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The United Nations (that venerable institution which brought you the wonderful Rwandan Genocide... nearly intervened during the Second Congo War, deciding instead to allow 5 million people to be killed... led the Oil-for-Food scheme that allowed Saddam to get rich during sanctions... and personally wet themselves when faced with the Darfur crisis) met earlier this month to discuss the best methods to fight global warming. Unfortunately, they are about 5-10 years behind the science, which is steadily beginning to show that global warming is most likely [worldview buster alert] 100% NATURAL. To help open their eyes, 101 leading scientists from throughout the world wrote an open letter to Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the U.N.
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,The signatories of the letter come from a broad band of the scientific community; they include the President of the World Federation of Scientists, the former chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, the former President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization, the President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. In all, 85 PhDs were in the list.
It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.
Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:
z Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.
z The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.
z Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today's computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.
In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed... to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.
The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions... Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the "precautionary principle" because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future.
The current UN focus on "fighting climate change"... is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.
Today's article on Zeal for Truth is pretty good, so you should read it.
Global warming is perhaps the most discussed “global” issue in news media today. Turn on the radio, television, or hop onto the internet and somehow the issue of global warming is waiting to be debated or touted as the impending crisis of the 21st century. However, the real crisis behind the issue of global warming is freedom.
Never mind that global warming proponents would like to control your car, where and how often you drive, how much energy you consume, where you live, and all things livestock related, society nods their head and tips their hat to such notions. After all, no one really minds as long as these are suggestions or “encouragements.” Enthusiasts discuss their ideas and most people replace at least one light bulb in their house.
Stop to consider for a moment what would happen if these aforementioned “encouragements” became law. How these laws would be enforced? The only way to enforce climate change laws is to restrict the freedom of individuals. Once a suggestion becomes law, the choice to comply is removed or rather, it is becomes a non-choice of compliance or penalty. Perhaps many people would not mind small penalties for using non-incandescent bulbs in their homes. In fact, most people don’t mind that cars are mandated to be more fuel efficient. Yet, the philosophy behind global climate change legislation is dangerous. The implication behind the “need” for such laws is that of removing the choice from individuals and giving control to governing authorities.
It grows immediately more concerning when such ideas potentially impact entire families on a personal level. Recently, politicians and professors in both Australia and Britain suggested that population control and baby carbon taxes should be strongly considered.
The viewpoint of regulating individual actions is based on the idea that others have the right and responsibility to control your choices and penalize you accordingly. It goes beyond choosing to calculate your carbon footprint to deciding who has a right to reproduce and breathe air. It assumes that life is owned by a collective group of strangers rather than one’s self.
“While every individual should be cherished, mankind’s reproduction is akin to the replication of a virus. We are swamping the planet and devouring its resources.”-North West England MEP, Chris Davies
The first loss of personal freedom may just be a light bulb, or car, however it when carried further it will inevitably lead to the marginalization of the natural rights to life and liberty and possibly the loss of both.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The marvelous Mark Steyn...
The holiday season is here, and that means it's time to engage in the time-honored Christmas tradition of objecting to every time-honored Christmas tradition. Australia is a gazillion time zones ahead of the United States – it may even be Boxing Day there already – so they got in first this year with a truly fantastic headline:
"Santas Warned 'Ho Ho Ho' Offensive To Women."
If I were a female resident of Sydney, I think I'd be more offended by the assumption that Australian women and U.S. prostitutes are that easily confused.
But the point is that the right not to be offended is now the most sacred right in the world. The right to freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement, all are as nothing compared with the universal right to freedom from offense. It's surely only a matter of time before "sensitivity training" is matched by equally rigorous "inoffensiveness training" courses.
For example, when I said the right not to be offended is now the most "sacred" right in the world, I certainly didn't mean to offend persons of a nontheistic persuasion. In Hanover, N.H., home to Dartmouth College, an atheist and an agnostic known only as "Jan and Pat Doe" (which is which is hard to say) are suing because their three schoolchildren are forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
Well, OK, they're not forced to say it. The pledge is voluntary. You're allowed to sit down, or, more discreetly, stand silently, which is what the taciturn Yankee menfolk who think it's uncool to sing do during the hymns at my local church. But that's not enough for "the Does." Because the pledge mentions God, their children are forced, as it were, not to say it. And, as "Mr. and Mrs. Doe" put it in their complaint, having to opt out of participation in a voluntary act exposes their children to potential "peer pressure" from the other students.
Let us now cross from the New Hampshire school system to the Sudanese school system. Or as The Associated Press headline put it:
"Thousands In Sudan Call For British Teddy Bear Teacher's Execution."
Last week, Gillian Gibbons, a British schoolteacher working in Khartoum, one of the crumbiest basket-case dumps on the planet – whoops, I mean one of the most lively and vibrant strands in the rich tapestry of our multicultural world – anyway, Mrs. Gibbons was sentenced last week to 15 days in jail because she was guilty of, er, allowing a teddy bear to be named "Mohammed." She wasn't so foolish as to name the teddy Mohammed herself. But, in an ill-advised Sudanese foray into democracy, she'd let her grade-school students vote on what name they wanted to give the classroom teddy, and being good Muslims they voted for their favorite name: Mohammed.
Big mistake. There's apparently a whole section in the Quran about how, if you name cuddly toys after the Prophet you have to be decapitated. Well, actually there isn't. But why let theological pedantry deprive you of the opportunity to stick it to the infidel? Mrs. Gibbons is regarded as lucky to get 15 days in jail, when the court could have imposed six months and 40 lashes. But even that wouldn't have been good enough for the mob in Khartoum. The protesters shouted "No tolerance. Execution" and "Kill her. Kill her by firing squad" and "Shame, shame to the U.K." – which persists in sending out imperialist schoolmarms to impose idolatrous teddy bears on the youth of Sudan.
Still, at exactly the time Gillian Gibbons caught the eye of the Sudanese authorities, a 19-year-old Saudi woman was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail. Her crime? She'd been abducted and gang-raped by seven men. Originally, she'd been sentenced to 90 lashes, but her lawyer had appealed and so the court increased it to 200 and jail time. Anybody on the streets in Sudan or anywhere else in the Muslim world who wants to protest that?
East is east, and west is west, and in both we take offense at anything: Santas saying "Ho ho ho," teddy bears called Mohammed. And yet the difference is very telling: The now-annual Santa lawsuits in the "war on Christmas" and the determination to abolish even such anodyne expressions of faith as the Pledge of Allegiance are assaults on the very possibility of a common culture. By contrast, the teddy bear rubbish is a crude demonstration of cultural muscle intended to cow and intimidate. When east meets west, when offended Muslims find themselves operating in Western nations, they discover that both techniques are useful: Some march in the streets, Khartoum-style, calling for the pope to be beheaded, others use the mechanisms of the West's litigious, perpetual grievance culture to harass opponents into silence.
Perhaps somewhere in Sydney there's a woman who's genuinely offended by hearing Santa say "ho ho ho" just as those New Hampshire atheists claim to be genuinely offended by the Pledge of Allegiance. But their complaints are frivolous and decadent, and more determined groups are using the patterns they've established to shut down debate on things we should be talking about. The ability to give and take offense is what separates free societies from Sudan.