Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Challenge

I challenge my readers to answer the following:

1. How would you go about enforcing a law that makes 11,000,000 (at least) foreign national into felons? Where will you jail them? How big of a court system do you propose to try them? Will they be allowed a defense?

2. How would you go about enforcing a law that makes 3,000,000 (at least) small business owners into felons? (Restaurants, hotels, car washes, garment makers, preschools, etc.) Where will you jail them? How much will it cost to create this massive amount of legal activity? Will you just pick a few poor suckers and make them examples by lottery, and the rest will go free?

3. If you just want the illegals to go home, how will you do this? Will the parents of children born here go home and leave the kids behind? What method will you use to round up 11,000,000 people and send them packing?

4. Those of you who think there are plenty of Americans just standing in line waiting to scrub toilets, pick tomatoes, work third shift factory jobs, and get the grills started at 5:00 a.m in your local restaurants, do you really believe this. We have only about 4.6% unemployment. Many consider this to be full employments. 11,000,000 fewer workers would create massive disruption, don't you think?

5. If we were able to deport 11,000,000 people or even a minor fraction of that many, are you ready for the economic results? Those younger than 35 have never experienced anything like a real recession. More than likely, we would be talking depression, not recession.

6. I have not heard a single person calling for the expulsion of the 100's of thousands of illegals here from Europe, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Poland, etc. And this is not the first time we have had massive influxes of illegals. Just the first time they are so visible. Do you think it is reasonable that many Mexicans think there is some racism going on, when they are singled out? Consider the question carefully. I didn't say there was any racism, only asked, dear readers, that you try to see it through other's eyes.

There are many more such questions. But I'll leave it for now.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

New Theory of Why Earth is Warming

If this was a new theory on why man is the cause of global warming, it would be on the front page of every major paper tomorrow and the lead headline on every liberal blog. Unfortunately, due to media bias, this respected scientist will have his work relegated to blogs like mine.

He has shown that the warming we are experiencing is due to a meteorite that hit our globe 100 years ago. He can show that we were actually in a cooling trend until this meteorite destroyed millions of trees and created a change in the percent of water in the atmosphere. He contends, and he has plenty of backing on this, that water vapor is the largest issue effecting the greenhouse effect. He also states that man can't effect the water vapor level one way or the other.

Hope you read this blog so you can get a bit of balance on this issue. The main stream media has aparently convinced 80% of the public that global warming is here and caused by you and me. Sad.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Acting in Reliance

Lets say that you start cheating on your exams in the 1st grade. You know you shouldn't, but you do. The teachers just don't seem to care. Your fellow students not only don't care, but seem impressed. You get great grades.

This continues year after year all the way through high school. Finally, in you Senior year, you get caught, and the entire history comes to light. The school says you can't graduate, and that you have to start over again in 1st grade. The cheating was wrong, the success was unearned, and the other students who didn't cheat had an unfair disadvantage. But no one would suggest that the punishment was appropriate.

A 19 year old woman is told by her parents that she can't go on to college. She expects to follow in her mom's footsteps washing toilets in the local tourist hotel. A man tells her that there are greater opportunities for her if she can only come up with $2000. She crosses the border into California illegally. She starts out washing toilets in a tourist hotel, but works her way up. In the meantime she takes classes at a local jr college. She falls in love, marries, has kids, purchases a home, and makes a life for her family. Fifteen years later, there is a raid by the INS and they tell her she has to go back to Mexico.

Coming across the border was wrong, her success was only possible because of her illegal behavior, and others left behind in Mexico going through the regular channels to come to the US had an unfair disadvantage. But no one can possibly think she should go back to Mexico.

Conservatives - THINK!

We conservatives love to shoot ourselves in the foot. We were on the wrong side of the civil rights debate, and we are paying for it 50 years later. Sure, we own all three branches of the national government, but if we are honest, we are there because of our stand on security issues and social issues the core cares about. We do not have enough support from the so-called disinfranchised to put together solid new initiatives in other areas of social responsibility, because we aren't trusted.

We should be the party of jews, blacks, and Mexicans. If you go issue by issue, the vast majority agree with conservative principles. But we aren't trusted by these groups.

Now we are faced, not just a party, but as a nation, with an issue which has the potential to establish one party or the other as the one who solved the immigration issue. We need to agree on a few essentials, but it would appear that the red meat crowd isn't having any of it.

1. We aren't going to round up 12,000,000 people and send them back to Mexico.
2. We aren't going to round up 100,000 people and send them back to Mexico.
3. We aren't going to start putting small business owners in jail for hiring
undocumented labor.
4. We aren't going to stop educating the children of people here illegally.

If you think any of those 4 things are going to happen, you also believe that the Supreme Court is going to rule the income tax unconsitutional.

Therefore, if those things are never going to happen, WHY ARE WE SPOUTING RHETORIC that presupposes that one or more of them might happen.

It does not good to talk about cheaters, and sneakers, and other nasty adjectives and adverbs if you aren't going to send them home. You will just make them mad, and then when they get their citizenship, even if its 20 years from now, they will remember.

It does no good to argue over whose ox is being gored or whose job is being taken. The reality is that in every advanced culture in history, the people lose interest in doing "dirty" jobs. Those cultures then import labor. The imported labor doesn't look like the other folks, don't act like them, and often speak a different language. That creates fear, distrust, and other emotions that lead to discrimination and nativism.

Conservatives! Please! The Mexicans who are here will be staying, make no bones about it. We need to be the party who sets out reasonable plan for their assimilation. And we have to stop using loaded language. NOW!

Need another example. The folks of Mexican heritage who had been in California for at least a full generation overwhelming support tough laws against illegal immigration. But Conservatives lost governance in California for at least a generation when we supported prop 57 in what appeared to be a mean spirited way.

Our values are generally right. On this one, most of the base is WAY OFF.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I'll Have Two of Whatever He's Having

My oldest daughter is 35 weeks into her second pregnancy, and since baby Grant has been kicking the slats out trying to come early, she's on bedrest. The idea has a certain appeal, dontcha think?

Dissing the Mexicans

500,000 folks get together for a peaceful demonstration in downtown LA, and it is barely making the news. Oh sure, it will lead at 11:00 tonight, and be the headline in the Times, but it will not be covered anything like 1000 hot heads who burned something down or turned over a car or two.

Pay attention folks. This is not a small issue that will go away. We are going to have to have some compromise from our two party system on the issue of immigration or we are going to see a growing crisis. I have blogged on this a few times before, just put undocumented into the search field above.

The general manager at my plant offered a pretty good idea.

1. Major crackdown at the border. I've been saying this. There should be no compromise.
2. Undocumented workers who are here already have won the jackpot. They get documents. However, they need to have a job, an address, no criminal record of consequence. They can stay.
3. After a moratorium (one year?) start rounding up folks who aren't documented. They will be the criminals.
4. Increase the number of green cards for Mexican to a number that makes sense for the US economy.

We need these folks as much as they need us. We stopped having babies two generations ago. Now we need an increasing population from some source to fund social security and do the jobs that American's won't do. And yes, Mark and Ken, there are plenty of jobs Americans won't do.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Psychology - A True a Psuedo Science

Disclaimer. I have paid for therapists at various times in my life. I have learned from them, and gained advantage from going to therapy sessions. I have a degree in psych from UCLA, and have studied it continuously for 35 years since graduation. Having said that, the science is mostly bunk. Check out this article about the Block Study that just goes to prove it. It is hard to incapsulate this story, so bear with me.

The Blocks have been paid a handsome sum each year for the last 25 to study 100 individuals starting at age three. A scientist dream assignment to be sure. The Block Study is described as one of the most highly regarded longitudinal studies in the field of psychology. Up until here, we are ok with the concept.

What goes wrong is that an element of the study will turn out to be contra indicated. For instance, there is general agreement that divorce is hard on kids and can result in emotionally disabling behavior. Many studies have shown this. Common sense and most common folks observation would confirm it. However,

"But our study showed that up to eight years before the divorce, boys in these families were antagonistic, difficult, and impulsive."

Suddenly, researchers had reason to consider the impact of raising a difficult child on divorce rates. "Raising a difficult child puts pressure on parents and may itself contribute to divorce," says Gjerde. "So it may not be divorce alone as much as the circumstances prior to divorce that affected these boys."

What happens next is that this study of 100 kids, half of which (we assume) were boys, and only half of those were from broken families (we would guess), and all of whom were not agressive 8 years before... So now we are talking 12 kids? less? ...
will create a headline: Kids cause divorce says study.

You think I'm kidding. The headline that led me to this study was from the Toronto Star (HT Hugh Hewitt)

How to spot a baby conservative
KID POLITICS | Whiny children, claims a new study, tend to grow up rigid and traditional. Future liberals, on the other hand ...The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests.

Now, again we have 100 kids. We will assume 30 end up conservative and 30 liberal with 40 in the middle. Now I haven't seen the raw data, but I would be shocked if all thirty conservatives were whiney and all 30 liberals were outgoing. Therefore, we are very likely creating a lead article about how 20 kids or so ended up in one study of 100. YIKES! In addition. Does this square with anyones' common sense impression? In fact, if anything, I would have thought the opposite. What about you?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Conflict - In General - Specifically Iraq! A MUST READ!

The following is the entire post from Ben Bateman's blog. I didn't want to risk the fact that you might not read it all. Please read it. Send it along to others.

On Conflict
Filed under: Philosophy and Culture — BenBateman @ 7:29 pm

Musing on the Iraqi civil war that never seems to materialize, much to the MSM’s disappointment, Michael Williams says:

[A]m I the only one who thinks that a civil war might be the only way to really establish peace? The fighting will never stop as long as both sides can and choose to make war, and I can’t think of many (any?) violent conflicts that resolved themselves through choice. The way most conflicts get resolved is when someone wins and the losing side can’t continue fighting even though they want to.

He’s right, but I would state the point differently. Talking about “resolving conflicts” implies that conflicts just sort of happen, like the weather. On this view, the world is normally at peace, and then these tensions arise inexplicably, so we should try to soothe the tension and return the world to its usual peaceful state.

I see it very differently. In a world of infinite desires and finite resources, people are always in conflict. Everyone wants more: more power, more wealth, more affection, more fame, more whatever. Each of us would like to receive as much as possible while giving as little as possible, so conflict is eternal and ubiquitous.

I want to pay less money, the shopkeeper wants to receive more, and so we haggle. Each congressman wants more money for his state or district and less for everyone else’s, and so we have the many complex deals at the heart of American politics. Each country wants to be more powerful, rich, and influential than the others, so they struggle against each other in various ways. And within each country there are out-of-power parties that yearn to rule; they scheme constantly against the dominant party or coalition.

So it’s silly to talk of conflicts as if they can be cured like the common cold, or resolved into non-conflict. The world is perpetually in conflict, with every person against every other person, to a greater or lesser degree. The question is how people act on those conflicts.

Suppose that I’m hungry, so I go to the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread. I would prefer to pay nothing for the bread. The grocery store would prefer that I pay a million dollars for it. Conflict looms.

There are many ways for me to resolve my conflict with the grocery store. I could try to shoplift the bread, or rob the store at gunpoint. People do that from time to time. I could tell the cashier a sad story, and see if I can convince her to give me the bread. Or I could pay some money for the bread.

Why not steal the bread? For you, no doubt, your noble character and stern moral code would prevent the very consideration of such an act. But surely the possibility of being caught and punished looms somewhere in the back of your mind. If there were no punishment for stealing the bread, how many moral codes would hold up under the strain? Not many, I would wager, but we needn’t debate that point. It’s enough that a significant minority, at least 10%, have weak enough consciences that they would gladly steal or engage in violence to get what they want.

Now consider Iraq. In a country of about 24 million people, how many would murder their countrymen to become part of a ruling faction? How many would commit mass murder to rule like Saddam? I would bet a couple hundred thousand, at least. And that desire will never be resolved in the sense of going away. It’s simply built into human nature. In every country there will always be large numbers of people willing to plant bombs or fire machine guns to overthrow the government. The question isn’t why they have the desire, but rather why they don’t act on the desire.

If they don’t act, it’s because they don’t think that they’ll succeed. The people who want to overthrow governments are generally not insane. (In fact, there is some evidence that terrorist groups tend to reject insane people as unreliable) Terrorists are generally quite rational; they just have different goals and morals than you and I do. They aren’t wild animals; they don’t have rabies. They’re just evil human beings, as smart on average as the rest of us. They don’t want to die, and they don’t want to get hurt. But they will kill or hurt others, if they think that they can do it safely.

So the key to “conflict resolution,” in Iraq or elsewhere, is to convince the other side that they’ll lose. There are few insurrections in the United States, because there are few people dumb enough to believe that they can actually topple our government. There are many attempts to topple the new Iraqi government precisely because so many people believe that the government might fall. So if you want to stop the terrorists from attempting to topple the government, then you should try to convince the terrorists that they’re going to lose. And if you want the conflict to continue, then you should convince them that they’re about to win.

I often wonder whether Democrats and people in the MSM think about this as they relentlessly spread doom and gloom about Iraq. It would be fascinating if we found a terrorist’s diary with entries like:

“Monday: More losses to our ranks. The American devils never let us rest. Morale is low. Some men speak of deserting.”

“Tuesday: Our leader strengthened our resolve today, telling us that victory is near. He showed us video of an American journalist saying that the Americans will leave Iraq if they lose many more men. He showed video of an American congressman urging the wicked Bush to withdraw all the troops. When the Americans leave, our leader promised us, then Iraq will easily fall, and each of us will be rich and powerful within the new Baath party.”

“Wednesday: Another successful bomb attack, with what the Americans call an IED. Three men killed, according to the press report.”

Let’s imagine that we find such a diary, and that the information is specific enough to identify the journalist, the congressman, the IED attack, and the men killed by this wavering terrorist. Now imagine that the families of those three dead soldiers meet the journalist and the congressman. How does that conversation play out, exactly?

But I probably overestimate them to imagine that the journalist or congressman would feel any sense of shame. After all, the Democrats and liberal journalists worked hard to force the US to pull out of Vietnam, and the subsequent Communist takeover of Southeast Asia seems not to have bothered them in the least. If they can sleep soundly after helping monsters like Pol Pot or the Vietnamese Communists to power, then who cares about the deaths of another couple of American soldiers?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I Love Los Angeles, Part 2

My list of reasons to love L.A. was real incomplete. I left out Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, and Magic Mountain. Our family loves Disneyland. We had season's tickets last year, but we go as a family at least once a year. Then, from time-to-time, Pam and I will do a ditch day, and just the two of us go for the day. We don't tell the kids until after we go.

Universal Studios is getting better and better. It still doesn't get to Disneyland in quality of entertainment, but it is a great fun day. They do need to update or add to the tram ride. If you haven't been for four years or longer, you should go.

The City Walk is better than Disney's. Lots of fun stores and great eateries. My favorite stop is the simulated NASCAR races. You will really believe you are in the race. A tad expensive, but worth it.

So, for those of you who want the slow life with folks who are more "real," head on over to Oklahoma City or Austin. Maybe you'll like Memphis or Bangor.

Sure LA would be better with less smog (even though we have far, far less than we did 25 years ago. It would be better with less traffic, less crime, and fewer homeless. I'm sure we would be pleased if housing were less expensive, and water more plentiful. But guess what, if all of those things were true, you wouldn't be able to count the constant influx of people who would be driving housing prices up, adding to congestion and smog, etc.

And then there's Westwood, the Colosseum, Old Town Pasadena, Laguna, Griffeth Park, The Greek, Santa Monica Place, The Grove, The Library.

How could I forget: Tommy's, In and Out, Cheesecake Factory in the Marina, Ripley's Believe it or Not, movie sets on your neighbor's lawn, incredible sunsets, hiking trails of every kind and every difficulty, waterfalls, tidepools, and 1001 different eccosystems.

The museum of tollerance, the children's museum, the rosebowl, Chavez Ravine, The view of Los Angeles when landing at LAX or driving up to Arrowhead.

So, you LA Haters. Either show me where I'm wrong or shut your hole. Those who agree, add to the list. We could change this blog into an LA travelog.

Friday, March 17, 2006

UCLA Bruin Basketball

I went to UCLA during the Wooden years. 10 National championships where often the only real challenge in the game was to see if UCLA would double the score of their opposition.

For the first time in a long time, the Bruins are in contention. Good luck guys.

I Love Los Angeles

I ran across a post today that was dissing LA. So, here is a short list of why I have chosen to stay here:

4 World class art museums and dozens of others that are just shy.
A decent museum of science and industry
A very good museum of natural history
3 Outstanding gardens (arboretums)
A very good zoo with a world class zoo within 2 hours drive and an unbelievable pocket zoo 2 hours the other way
Dozens of outstanding live theaters from major venues to 99 seaters
Beaches of every type and stripe
12 inches average rainfall
SUN all the time
Vies with San Diego for the best year round climate on earth.
The Magic Castle
The Ramona Pagent
The Pagent of the Masters
The LA Symphony
100's of local symphony orchastras, ensembles, and the like
UCLA, USC, The Claremont Colleges, The Design Center, Biola, Dozens of other outstanding learning centers
Griffith Observatory
Sunset from the ocean to La Brea
The La Brea Tar Pits
The dizzying variety of restaraunts, retailers, and other choices of goods and services
LA Harbor, Long Beach Harbor
Are their weird people here? Sure, but have you ever spent any time in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami. You want weird?
Is there traffic here? Have you ever driven in New York, Chicago . . . .
Are there bad folks here? Philadelphia, DC, Newark, Miami, Atlanta, ...

I have been fortunate to have traveled much of the USA and the world. Hawaii is nice, North Counties in San Diego is very nice, but all-in-all. WLA has it. That's why a 2 bedroom 1 bath house a mile from the beach in Venice is $800,000. A few other folks have figured out what I have.

But then, my experience is that for many people, it doesn't matter much what they have been given, they will find the problem and the fault rather than praise God for the blessing.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Iraq War To Wind Up in Next 90 Days

He has been misunderestimated before, and George Bush is pretty likely to be misunderestimated again. Note the major air strike against the insurgents starting a couple of days ago. It won't be the last major offensive in the coming weeks.

Note the speed up in the release of secret files and tapes from the Hussein Regime. Note the talks with Iran.

AND what time of year is it. Spring. Since Bible times, this is when folks in the Middle East go to war. The US soldiers and US trained Iraqi troops will be hitting 'em hard during the key fighting months. And then, we will start bringing folks home in time for November elections. And it won't have ever had anything to do with politics, or planning things to work like this in an election year. The timing of everything that is and has been done was set out years ago. The only change has been the recent difficulty in getting the government in place.

Watch this space. See if we get it right.

George Bush

Believe in Global Warming? - Prove It

According to many in academia, and supposedly almost all climatologists, global warming is a certainty, it is caused by humans, and we need to take draconian measures to stop it from occurring. I think there is a way to determine how much faith these scientists and those who apologize for them trust their own judgment. Lets ask them to provide us with their combined investment portfolios.

I suspect that we will see them investing in all the same things the rest of us invest in. Top stocks, emerging companies, beach property. Some of the really socially concerned will probably be avoiding some companies that they think are contributors to greenhouse gasses or who are not making any effort to curb same.

Others might be putting a few dollars into companies that make things or consult about environmental issues. Thus, if the noise is loud enough, and if enough politicians and others buy into the scare tactics, these kinds of companies will flourish. But making things are giving advice about things that curb greenhouse emissions is not the same thing as betting on global warming. It is betting on people being scared about global warming.

No! I will be a believer when the leaders of the movement start moving their money out of stocks and property that might be adversely effected, should their models turn out to be right, and into stocks and properties that will benefit.

Anybody care to guess if these true believers believe enough to put their money where their mouth is?

global warming
science skeptic
climate change

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Truth About Noah's Ark

This article gives plenty of good reasons to read "The Secret On Ararat," by Tim LaHaye, which is reviewed below. If you are interested in the search for Noah's Ark, be certain to read the article. It is short and free. The book is, as I mentioned in the review, very interesting on the facts.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Watch Out For This Major Challange to Women's Choice

The National Center For Men has filed a lawsuit that might do more harm to Roe vs Wade than anything to date. An article in Human Events puts it this way:

Our lawsuit will be filed on behalf of Matt Dubay, 25, a computer technician from Saginaw, Michigan. The state of Michigan is seeking to force Matt to pay child support for a child he never intended to bring into the world. Matt insists that the child's mother repeatedly assured him she could not get pregnant and, also, Matt says that she knew he did not want to have a child with her. Matt is asking for the reproductive choice he would have had if he were "Mattilda."

Bill O'Reilly interviewed one of the leaders of The National Center For Men. They agreed that men should take the moral responsibility of raising any child they father. However, in the case of Roe, morality is divorced from law. Thus, a strong argument can be made that men should be equally able to decide whether or not they will pay for a child they didn't want. Call it Mens' choice.

Legally, it might look like this. If the women lies about any aspect of her ability to get pregnant, and she knew or should have known that the man didn't want to have a baby with her, then he would have no LEGAL responsibility.

Then, once learning that she is pregnant, he would be able to make a choice whether he is willing to support the child or would choose abortion or adoption instead. He would have the same 90 days with no questions asked, and then after 90 days would be faced with tests having to do with whether having this child might interfere with his health.

If at any time after 90 days, he cannot establish that the woman lied or deceived him, or any type of health problem, then he would be legally responsible.

WOW! This is going to court. It might be the beginning of pro aborts understanding how rediculous their arguments for women's choice are.

Pro Life
Planned Parenthood
Men's Choice

Book Review - The Secret on Ararat

Tim LaHaye is finally getting a fair amount of press. But, I've said it before, he has not received anywhere near the acclaim that his body of work deserves. The Left Behind series will never be confused with great literature, but it was fun reading, and it informed during that fun. If you've not yet read Left Behind, it gets my "Buy the Hardback" rating. We have the entire series in Hardback, and our boys have the kids' version.

The Babylon Rising Series with co-author Bob Phillips is much better written than Left Behind. But that doesn't mean it is great literature either. The story line is fine. The characters are interesting. The setup where hero Michael Murphy is challenged in some death defying game by Methuselah in the opening paragraphs of each book is well done.

I think the biggest missing ingredient in this book is context. It is written almost like the nightly news. The scenes are short with too little build up, and resolve themselves too quickly and easily. Then the entire book ends the same way. Some books feel as if they could be edited, cut down to size. This one feels like it needs someone to flesh it out.

However, as with Left Behind, you will learn tons in this book about Noah and the Ark, both from a Biblical perspective and a current archeological view.

So, if you go through this blog, you will see that there are quite a few good Christian mystery novels out right now. I read them in descending order of quality. This made each one seem like chopped liver compared to the last. Possibly if you read them in reverse order, starting with this one, then going to "Comes A Horseman," and ending with "Shoofly Pie" and "Chop Shop," you could get the opposite effect.

For "The Secret on Ararat" I must give it a buy it used rating on my new book rating system.

Book Reviews
Tim LaHaye
Christian Mystery Books
End Times

Democrats Work on 2006 Agenda

The Dems say they are going to tell us how they feel, or think, or something, about how things should be done. They have been promising this for some time, but seem unable to come up with anything. Sooooo

I would offer this as their new manifesto:

1. We believe in killing human embryos for any reason. In fact, we would prefer them dead to alive. This will reduce population.
2. We believe that people of all ages should be able to consent to sex of all types, as long as its done in private or in movies and on TV.
3. We believe that teenagers are incapable of resisting sexual temptation, so we don't believe in making any effort to convince them to abstain from sex of any kind.
4. We believe that evolution has been proven beyond any doubt, and that anyone who believes that God created the world is a country bumpkin.
5. We believe anything science tells us. One headline that quotes a scientific study, and we are prepared to make public policy and change laws.
6. We believe in government and the mass media, but distrust business and the church.
7. We believe that all ideas are equal in value, except those ideas believed by evangelical Christians or other tradition family types.
8. We want the poor to prosper, but not so much that they would increase greenhouse gasses or deplete natural resources.
9. We think killing a criminal who has killed another human is just the same as killing a baby just before it is being born.
10. We believe that people should vote in blocks based on their victim status, not based on any aspect of good governance.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

New Book Review Rating System

Pam, the love of my life, mentioned the other day that a movie reviewer had rated a particular film as worth $10. That suggested to me that all such ratings could be much better done than 1-10 or thumbs up or 4 stars. Since I do quite a few book reviews in this blog, here is my new rating system.

Buy the Hardback
Buy used Hardback
Wait for Paperback
Buy Used Only
Borrow Only
Don’t Bother


There is still a large fringe of the feminist movement that hates men and families and all the trappings. They feel that even for those women who choose a traditional family life, they are copping out. Fox News offers this:

Born Again Feminism for the 21st Century
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
By Wendy McElroy

March is Women's History Month, with a focus on the past raising questions about the future. Gender or left-wing feminism has defined the mainstream movement for decades, but can it carry feminism into the 21st century and away from the accusation of irrelevancy?

For example, in 1980, the term "sexual harassment" was virtually unknown. Today, it is a legal reality that every campus and workplace confronts. If gender feminism successfully recreates itself, then your day-to-day life may continue to reflect its vision, not yours. Linda R. Hirshman, co-author of the book Hard Bargains: The Politics of Sex, offers a glimpse of that vision. She recently published an article titled "Homeward Bound" in the liberal magazine American Prospect (12/20/05).

Hirshman dismisses what she calls "choice feminism." Instead, she argues for a return to "a judgmental starting point" by which incorrect choices are to be shunned, choices like the traditional role of wife and mother.

Hirshman writes, "Now the glass ceiling begins at home. Although it is harder to shatter a ceiling that is also the roof over your head, there is no other choice."

The 20th century gender war was fought largely in the workplace and on campuses; the 21st century's battleground is the traditional family. According to Hirshman, failure to deconstruct that one institution is the explanation for feminism's failures elsewhere.

Don't miss this point. The feminazis are intent on destroying the traditional family. Combine their effort with the gender challenged agenda and liberalism in general, and you have the perfect storm. The Bible speaks against and predicts it.

Evolution-Humans Evolving?

Fox News Reports on a recent studywhich concludes that Humans Still Rapidly Evolving. Since the article is written in appropriately dense scientific language, I was compelled to take Foxes word for it. Here are a few out takes from the Fox article. But you can read the original.

Study: Humans Still Rapidly Evolving
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
By Ker Than

A comprehensive scan of the human genome finds that hundreds of our genes have undergone positive natural selection during the past 10,000 years of human evolution.

"This study addresses the question 'Are humans still evolving?', and the answer is 'Absolutely,'" study team member Benjamin Voight told LiveScience.

The new study links genetic changes to major events in the history of our species.

"There have been a lot of recent changes — the advent of agriculture, shifts in diet, new habitats, climatic changes — over the past 10,000 years," said Jonathan Pritchard, a human geneticist at the University of Chicago who led the study.

The researchers also found positive selection in four pigment genes important for lighter skin in Europeans that were not known before. Scientists think humans evolved lighter skin in Europe as an adaptation to less sunlight.

The study, which used data collected by the International HapMap Project, is detailed in the March 7 issue of the journal Public Library of Science-Biology.

Maybe I'm just a really dumb layman on this stuff, but in reading the Fox article and the study article, all of the changes that were discussed looked like minor changes within a species. Why spend all that effort to talk about minor changes over 10,000 years? Does anyone have any doubt that humans adapt over generations just like Darwin's Finches or the Bible's examples of animal breeding.

But the headlines and the articles seem to want to convince us plebes that all of this is part of evolution. Show me a super human race and I'll believe. But in fact, I argue that the human race is devolving, not evolving. When we see how many intellectual giants there were in the US 230 years ago, an evolving population should be producing 1000's of Jeffersons, Franklins, and the like. Where are they? Instead we have Edward Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, not to mention Edwards, Kerry, and the other presidential candidates of 2004.

Evolution? Bah! Humbug!

Creation Science

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Teachers Who Indoctrinate Kids

There is no subject more perplexing to me that the denial by those on the left that teachers and professors are indoctrinating our kids with leftist thinking. This is not a new phenomenon. In 1968, while I was at Mt. Sac Jr. College in Pomona, CA., I had a political science teacher who was a good teacher and we got along great. In fact, even though we were polar opposites on the issues, he gave me very high marks on my essays and recommended a career in politics. But I turned in one essay entitled "Stereotypes are Real." It was as well researched and written as anything I ever turned in. However, his bias finally couldn't take it any more, and my grade reflected it.

This wasn't an isolated example, but at Cal State Fullerton (now CSU Fullerton), Cal Poly Pomona, and UCLA, the professors were almost all pointedly liberal.

28 years later my 16 year-old tells stories almost every day of the leftist and anti-Christian bias of teachers at his school. Being very bold, he is happy to debate them, and being very charming, the teachers seem to enjoy the exchange as well.

But my son pointed out last night that it is difficult to hold on to your opinions when the teacher has so many advantages: Education, position, age, experience, just to name a few. This power advantage is why all Americans should be concerned about the way teachers are intentionally using that power advantage to move a leftist, anti religious agenda. Does anyone doubt this is true?


Who is Happiest Among Women? Housewives?

My neighbor with whom I debate politics from time-to-time agrees with me on very little. But we have this in common. We expect the pendulum to swing to and fro in a predictable way. This is very true of a place where science, philosophy, and politics cross paths. Every new science headline results in a potential new philosophical direction, which might also be used to political advantage.

In my lifetime, we saw science come to the conclusion that women and men were more alike than different. This resulted in a philosophy called Feminism, and established a new cause for the left, who is always happy to find a new group of victims to add to the fold.

Now science is concluding that women and men are really very, very different. New philosophies are developing which suggest that women need equal treatment (the Bible has said so for thousands of years), but that it is very reasonable for women to want to be Mom's and homemakers who have no real ambitions in the world of commerce. Writes Charlotte Allen of the Independent Women's Forum in the Sunday LA Times "Current Section on Sunday, March 5, 2006:"

The return of the happy housewife

BETTY FRIEDAN, it seems, died just in time to roll over in her grave.

A new study by two University of Virginia sociologists concludes that stay-at-home wives whose husbands are the primary family breadwinners don't suffer from "the problem that has no name," as Friedan famously wrote in 1963. In fact, the majority of full-time homemakers don't experience any kind of special problem, according to professors W. Bradford Wilcox and Stephen L. Nock, who analyzed data from a huge University of Wisconsin survey of families, conducted during the 1990s.

Here are the figures, published in this month's issue of the journal Social Forces: 52% of wives who don't work outside the home reported they were "very happy" with their marriages, compared with 41% of wives in the workforce.

The more traditional a marriage is, the sociologists found, the higher the percentage of happy wives. Among couples who have the husband as the primary breadwinner, who worship together regularly and who believe in marriage as an institution that requires a lifelong commitment, 61% of wives said they were "very happy" with their marriages. Among couples whose marriage does not have all these characteristics, the percentage of happy wives dips to an average of 45.

Check out the next article from Mona Charen.

gender politics
traditional roles

Population Trends - Part II

As has been noted elsewhere in this place, and by such pundits as Pat Buchanan, the most advanced cultures on the planet are experiencing population declines. In some cases, like the US, this decline in population among native borns is being made up for by immigration. In other places, like Japan and Russia, there is an actual decline taking place.

No one is raising a red flag about this trend. Sure Buchanan is, but no one takes him seriously (I don't take much of what he says very seriously.) But on this, he is raising an issue that will impact the human species in ways that are not being thought through. It is unlikely to effect an old guy like me very much. But my kids should be evaluating their own plans and futures based on a World that may be faced with significant issues over a lack of population.

Since I criticize other "thinkers" for failing to point out the bright side of such things as global warming, let me expose a couple of the bright spots on this issue.

God is in control. Just as David was chastized by God for counting his troops instead of relying on God, ultimately God will adjust the population based on His overall plan. In a natural sense, as populations decline, folks will start increasing their output, so to speak.

The adjustment we are seeing take place now may be just the thing we need to get some countries or cities into a more manageable size. Mexico City, Brazilia, and other cities are out of control. China, Indonesia, India likewise.

Here is the theological question: Does God allow war, disease, homosexuality, and abortion to increase as a natural way to control population?

Population trends

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mona Charen on "Feminism Isn't Dead"

In the ongoing discussion regarding the differences between the sexes, I think Mona Charen, conserative columnist extronidaire, makes a great example. It is hard to argue against the proposition that men tend to be more logical and women more emotional in argumentation. But Mona Charen is one woman who gives lie to that stereotype. Her columns commonly provide by far the most organized and logical expression of the wisdom of the conservative point of view available.

This is certainly true of a recent column posted at NationalReviewOnLine The column is a review of a new book by Kate O'Beirne, "Women Who Make the World Worse."

Feminism, far from promoting the happiness and well-being of women and society, has instead left great swaths of melancholy in its wake. O'Beirne cites "One large study of well-being data on one hundred thousand Americans and Britons from the early 1970s to the late 1990s found that while American men had grown happier, women's well-being had dramatically fallen during the period . . . women were 20 percent less happy."

How could women not be less happy. They have given up so much to get so little.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Population Effects, Trends, and Such

David, the one in the Bible, the one after God's own heart, found himself in a lot of trouble for deciding to count his troops. He wasn't trusting God. However, on other occasions, it was clear that it was ok with God to do counts of the entirety of Israel. No small part of the old testament is devoted to population information.

Mary and Joseph ended up in Bethlehem at the end of Mary's pregnancy because Herrod wanted a Census.

It is hard to drive to Palm Springs from West Los Angeles, CA., and not at least contemplate the nature of population. I found this density map here, which has several other cool maps showing the changing density of the Los Angeles basin over the past 50 years.

Population trends

My family lives in one of the more densely populated places on earth. Our own neighborhood is single family dwellings on 1/4 acre lots, so not that dense, but there are plenty of apartments and such in the area.

Living in "the city" offers lots of good things, like easy access to stores, cultural activities, financial and other business resources, etc. However, there are some negatives, too. Traffic, noise, and just that hemmed in feeling.

I suspect that some combination of abundant resources and the hemmed in feeling is the root of many evils that are hitting our headlines these days. It shouldn't surprise anyone that when populations are well fed and dense, the slow down reproductive activity. We have done so in the US and other Western Cultures.

But would it be a stretch to say that slowing down reproductive activity leads to things like abortion, homosexuality, and sexual acting out. Look for more on this subject in the weeks to come.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Palm Springs - Just the Wife and Me

We're heading to Palm Springs for the weekend. This reminds me of some marriage advice that I heard a while back, and that we try to follow. One night per week is date night. One weekend per quarter is for a romantic getaway. Then we added this one. One week of vacation each year is just for us. No kids. We aren't close to 100% in following this advice, but most of my best memories of the last 19 years are those dates, weekends, and vacations with Pam.

P.S. For info on the watercolor above go here

Thursday, March 02, 2006

George Bush - Not an Enigma

The left thinks he's got hidden agenda's, is out to help special interests, and can't be trusted. I think psychologists call this projection.

George Bush is just George Bush. No suprises. Straight talk. Straight shooter. History will see another Truman. Hated by the other party during his time in office. Admired later.

IMAX - Special Effects Are So Much Fun

Thirty-eight years ago I was being a tourist at the Santa Monica Pier. There was a little shop showing a completely new thing. At the time I thought I should forget everything else I was doing or dreaming of doing and invest everything in what they were doing. They were doing Laser Holography. Just little 3D pictures, but a technology virtually unknown at the time destined to have a major impact in so many places.

I don't think that visit started my love affair with 3D, but I just think 3D is great fun. So, I have seen almost every IMAX film ever produced in 3D (and most of the 2D ones, also.) I think my first time was at Pearl Harbor, or was it Cape Canaveral. Most of the time, it is just down the street at the Museum of Science and Industry near USC.

I haven't seen this one yet, but I saw its earlier version. Coming March 3 to many IMAX Theaters is Deep Sea 3D. Nobody does nature films better than IMAX. Take the whole family.


Antarctica Losing Ice - Should You Care

Antarctica Losing Ice, Contrary to Expectations
By Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Managing Editor
posted: 02 March 2006
02:01 pm ET

Joining the growing list of places on this planet that are melting, Antarctica is losing some 36 cubic miles of ice every year, scientists said today.

Hot Topic

The Controversy

* Conflicting Claims on Global Warming and Why It's All Moot
* Baffled Scientists Say Less Sunlight Reaching Earth
* Scientists Clueless over Sun's Effect on Earth
* Key Argument for Global Warming Critics Evaporates

The Effects

* Greenland Melts
* Ground Collapses
* Allergies Get Worse
* Rivers Melt Sooner in Spring
* Increased Plant Production
* Animals Change Behavior
* Hurricanes Get Stronger
* Lakes Disappear
* Seas Rise

What about the potential positive effects.
* Deserts bloom
* Areas now uninhabitable become good places to farm, live.
* Some species gain from warmer climate
* More rain creates more clouds, creating cooling in some areas
* The list could go on for pages

The Possibilities

* More Rain but Less Water
* Ice-Free Arctic Summers
* Overwhelmed Storm Drains
* Worst Mass Extinction Ever
* A Chilled Planet

What About Positive Possibilities

* More water in some places that really need it
* A warmer planet
* Mass extinction of some species with mass increase in new
* Change in weather patterns creates great new tropical resort areas.

Strange Solutions

* Space Ring to Shade Earth
* Longer Airline Flights

For comparison, Los Angeles consumes roughly 1 cubic mile of fresh water a year.

The south polar region holds 90 percent of Earth’s ice and 70 percent of the total fresh water on the planet, so any significant pace of melting there is important and could contribute to an already rising sea.

It's nice that the article says "could contribute." But, the dynamics of oceans and weather systems is so complex that no one has a clue.

"This is the first study to indicate the total mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet is in significant decline," said Isabella Velicogna of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The study is detailed today in the online version of the journal Science.

Other studies have documented rapid melting, unprecedented in modern times, in Greenland and around the North Pole. And rapid melting of individual glaciers has been noted in Antarctica.

Note that the article specifically says modern times. Many studies have shown that these kinds of changes have happened before.

For now, the newly measured melting might seem like a small quantity. The loss of ice in Antarctica amounts to about 0.4 millimeters of global sea rise annually, with a margin of error of 0.2 millimeters, the study concludes. There are about 25 millimeters in an inch.

For those who aren't very good in math, lets put this in perspective. If this were an accurate estimate, and it continued at this pace for 100 years, there would be a total sea rise of 2 inches.

However, computer models run in 2001 predicted Antarctica would gain ice during the 21st century due to increased precipitation in a warming climate. But the new study, based on satellite measurements between 2002 and 2005, shows the opposite.

Here is the important, critical, should be headline making, paragraph. COMPUTER MODELS RUN IN 2001 are already turning out to be dead wrong. All of the global warming hystaria is based on computer models like this. They have a horrible record of accuracy. Here they are admitting that a recent, state of the art, model is just completely wrong based on current actual data. Where is this a headline? If this model is wrong, maybe they are all wrong. Maybe we are actually headed into an ice age.

Antarctica is twice as large as Australia. The ice sheet, which covers about 98 percent of the continent, has an average thickness of about 6,500 feet—more than a mile.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Coming Late to "24 Hours"

I am not usually out ahead on things like style, culture, etc. Maybe I'm a slow learner, or just a true conservative. For instance, I was dead last to buy a leisure suit. So late was I that within 30 days no one would be caught dead in one. I'm so far behind that one of our young adults in church complimented me on a shirt one day, then said: "If you're wearing it, I guess I should get rid of all mine of that style."

Thus it should be no surprise that Pam and I just started watching "24 Hours." We have sometimes watched 4 hours at a stretch. But then, those who are hooked aren't suprised. For the 6 people in America that like thrillers and haven't yet done "24 Hours," be prepared to do very little else for a few months of your free time.


Why The Bible Recommends Optimism

Philippians 4:6 "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." The New Living Translation

Twenty five years ago today, my partner, Terry Brown, and I started our little company. We've had great times together and have experienced almost everything imaginable, both good and bad. And we thank God for all He has done and for His provision.

Monday was one of the hardest, most troubling days in that 25 year history. We are at the end of our slow season, cash is at a very low place, and we have to move a 25,000 square foot factory. It seemed for a few hours to be overwhelming. But, of course, God is always right there, and his comfort came over me. Moreover, there was clarity in that moment. A clear idea of what was the best way to proceed, and absolute peace that He is my provider.

The next day, a friend said that it is a shame that so many waste so much time and energy worrying about the future, clouding judgment, and interfering with creativity. That same energy could be used to brainstorm new directions and pray for God to show us the right path.


Some think that optimism or pessimism is just something you are born with. I think not. God wouldn't direct us to be something we can't be.

"Comes a Horseman" by Robert Liparulo - Book Review

Having just finished ShooFly Pie(See Review here) and Chop Shop, it was easy to view Liparulo's prose as kind of so-so. But, 30 pages in, and reflecting back, it was only by comparison. Sure, Tim Downs writing is so smooth, it melts in your mind. And if Liparulo only scores a B in artistry, Comes a Horseman gets a solid A in suspense. Just when you settle in for a decent read of a pretty good book, he hammers you with the first "thriller" scene. It is so vivid, that there is little wonder that he has already sold the movie rights.

The setting moves across the globe and the centuries. The history alone is worth the read. And there is a major Christian thread dealing with end times theology. If you like Ted Dekker and Randy Alcorn, you'll like this one. You may have guessed by now that I give all three thumbs up to Comes a Horseman.

Christian Books
End Times Theology
Mystery Novel
Book Review