Remember when our jaws used to drop when we heard of pastors who didn't believe in the virgin birth, or that Jonah actually spent three days in the belly of a fish, or that Jesus raised someone from the dead? If you still have another jaw to drop these days, and it would be understandable if you didn't, listen to this report via Al Mohler's blog this morning:
A news report from the Netherlands points to a form of theological insanity that is spreading far beyond the Dutch. Ecumenical News International reports that church authorities in the Netherlands have decided not to take action against a Dutch pastor who openly declares himself to be an atheist.
The pastor, Klaas Hendrikse, serves a congregation of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. In 2007 he published a book described as a "manifesto of an atheist pastor." In the book Hendrikse argues for the non-existence of God, but he insists that he does believe in God as a concept.
I'll bet you didn't know that this is becoming pretty fashionable in mainstream churches. God as a "concept" and not as the living, omnipotent Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of mankind may still be whispered in much of this country, but it won't be long before the pews your children occupy on Sunday morning will face men (and women, heaven forbid) who have lost all shame and all pretense of belief. They, too, will proclaim:
"The non-existence of God is for me not an obstacle but a precondition to believing in God. I am an atheist believer," Hendrikse writes in the book. "God is for me not a being but a word for what can happen between people. Someone says to you, for example, 'I will not abandon you', and then makes those words come true. It would be perfectly alright to call that [relationship] God."
While this kind of theological language may be shocking, it is not all that uncommon. For years, many theologians have been moving away from realist conceptions of theology to various forms of non-realism. In classical terms, anti-realist theologians can actually be atheists, for they do not believe that God actually or necessarily exists. They do, however, find "God" to be a useful concept.
He's not necessary but perhaps "useful." For a while. Soon, perhaps, not even that.
Go read Mohler's description of the slide:
Labels: Theater of the Absurd
Looking for a pet for your little ones? Don't waste your time asking PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to see the ones they're caring for:
WASHINGTON DC – Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) published documents online showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed 95 percent of the adoptable pets in its care during 2008. Despite years of public outrage over its euthanasia program, the animal rights group kills an average of 5.8 pets every day at its Norfolk, VA headquarters.
According to public records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed 2,124 pets last year and placed only seven in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 21,339 dogs and cats have died at the hands of PETA workers.
Yet they'll bully you if you want to take your kids to the circus. Go figure.
Hypocritical Animal Rights Group’s 2008 Disclosures Bring Pet Death Toll To 21,339
Labels: Theater of the Absurd
Remember the old saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb? I don't know about where you live, but this year our animals changed places!
Leftovers: Dirk's Bow-tie Pasta with Sausage from Friday night. There is no better pasta dish.
This week, we're on the hunt for recital clothes. Checkin' out the resale shops--and we have some great ones here!
Note to self: don't ever bother telling kids that a paint is darker on the wall than on that little chip from the hardware store.
It's one of those months when it's been fun to be a Republican. Much more fun than it was the past four years. You know, when we had a lot of RINOs in charge of things.
And hey, our IRA is worth $4 more than it was last week.
CJ's been feeling a lot better in the past week. Of course, "much better" still leaves her in a state that you and I wouldn't want to experience, but it's been nice to see her in less pain. Last week she received several injections in the base of her skull to block the occipital nerves, and though this isn't a permanent "fix" it does give her some relief and helps the doctor know just where the pain is located. I appreciate your continuing prayers for her.
Sunday evenings are usually set aside for Tapestry of Grace history/ philosophy/ government discussions with our daughter, two sons, and two grandsons. The Papa is in his element, and never more than when he gets to spend time on the Carolingian dynasty, complete with whiteboard diagrams:
I'm leaving on Wednesday to head for California to be with Lyric as she recovers from Tuesday's shoulder surgery. The recuperation is not expected to be easy, and although she can accomplish more with one arm than the rest of us can with two, I'm hoping to "shoulder" a little of the TLC that she'll need when she comes home. I'll try to pop in here a couple of times while I'm gone, but don't worry about me :-)
Have a great first week of April! (I know, I KNOW!)
Note especially the last sentence:
House Bill 1393 and Senate Bill 68, both of which are currently moving through the legislature of the State of Texas, contain language that will intensify the regulation and licensing of all sports in the state of Texas.
This move, if allowed to go through unimpeded, would effectively kill private youth sports institutions such as select league hockey, baseball, softball, soccer, gymnastics, cheerleading, swimming, dance, martial arts, and any program that is designed to teach a skill, talent, or athletic development.
The TLCCA (Texas Licensed Child Care Association) is currently lobbying to protect the Day Care industry. The political position they are taking is to have all sports comply with the same standards they must comply with. The effort is designed to provide a level economic playing field.
See how the motive isn't even children's safety, misguided as that would be? It's TO GIVE DAYCARES A LEVEL ECONOMIC PLAYING FIELD! They don't want your children in sports, they want them in daycare. And they figure that if they can call the state's bluff on the regulations on sports programs, they'll either put them out of business or get the regulations on THEM removed! Because it's only fair!
(You've read about this before as the "Equalization of Opportunity Act" in Atlas Shrugged.)
Texans, PLEASE contact your representatives and pass this information on. The linked website has a plea for you to also contact Gov. Perry. We have seen that he does not tend to be moved (a la Gardasil) by issues involving the rights of parents to direct their children's educational and medical decisions, so it's especially important that he feel the weight of insulting the state's parents with ridiculous bills like this.
Youth Sports Under Attack by Day Care Industry and
The State of Texas Department of Family Protective Services
Hat tip: Dina W.
Who is my Texas State Representative?
I know. You're busy. But you will have time to celebrate this with us, won't you? 8:30 Saturday night. Turn your lights on :-)
Celebrate Human Achievement Hour
One man jumped to his death off the All-America Bridge this year.
Two more used the Akron bridge — more commonly known as the Y-Bridge — to commit suicide in 2008.
Akron hopes to curtail future deaths on what has been dubbed ''Suicide Bridge'' by installing a fence.
The controversial fencing — some have been pushing for it, while others think it's a waste of money — was among the local projects the state approved Thursday for federal stimulus funds.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Want government assistance? Just say no to drugs.
Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing.
The effort comes as more Americans turn to these safety nets to ride out the recession. Poverty and civil liberties advocates fear the strategy could backfire, discouraging some people from seeking financial aid and making already desperate situations worse.
Evidently, too hard for some:
"It's an example of where you could cut costs at the expense of a segment of society that's least able to defend themselves," said Frank Crabtree, executive director of the West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
And then there's this--and don't ask me why this hasn't been in effect long before now:
Drug testing is not the only restriction envisioned for people receiving public assistance: a bill in the Tennessee Legislature would cap lottery winnings for recipients at $600.
Don't hold your breath. Buy a ticket instead.
States consider drug tests for welfare recipients
So you tell me. What do you do when you've already nationalized an industry and it still can't stay afloat?
Postal chief says post office running out of money
I understand the advantage to President Obama of having Toxic Tim in place as designated fall guy for a month or two hence, but in the meantime maybe they could keep him duct-taped to a chair in the basement. From the Daily Telegraph:
US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner shocked global markets by revealing that Washington is "quite open" to Chinese proposals for the gradual development of a global reserve currency run by the International Monetary Fund.
The dollar plunged instantly against the euro, yen, and sterling as the comments flashed across trading screens. David Bloom, currency chief at HSBC, said the apparent policy shift amounts to an earthquake in geo-finance.
"The mere fact that the US Treasury Secretary is even entertaining thoughts that the dollar may cease being the anchor of the global monetary system has caused consternation," he said.
Senate reviewing how college football picks No. 1
Too ridiculous for me to even comment further.
For most of our marriage, The Papa and I moved a lot. A LOT. The every 2-4 year moves were pretty much a built-in guarantee that we wouldn't accumulate too much "stuff." Our government move benefit limited us to a certain number of pounds and charged us an EXORBITANT rate for overages. I'm thankful for that restriction--it saved us from carting around loads of stuff we didn't want or need and trying to find places to put it in the next house.
Well, we've now lived in this house for seven and a half years, way longer than I've ever lived anywhere in my life. (I grew up in a military family as well, so I'm well acquainted with the transient lifestyle and all its advantages and disadvantages.) And the downsides are beginning to show, including a slow collection of irritating, useless clutter. My physical limitations have made it worse...I can't climb, I can't bend all the way to the floor, and I can't lift heavy boxes of things, so I'm not as "on top" of stuff like this as I was for many years or as I would be if I were still, shall we say, "spry."
But that's not the purpose of this post. What has struck me in reading this book is something I didn't expect to find: a re-evaluation of my life. It has had such an impact on me that I'm going to quote a section here from Walsh:
Never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to take Peter Walsh seriously and really ponder the question for myself. So I closed the book, closed my eyes and asked myself, "Cathi, what is the life you want? Imagine the life you want to live!"
One of the most common errors people make when attempting to declutter and get organized is that they start with "the stuff." This is a huge mistake. Just moving the stuff around, into different rooms and new plastic bins, doesn't solve the problem. In the beginning, remember: Clearing the clutter isn't about "the stuff." Don't focus on that or you are doomed to fail before you even begin.
The things you own are a distraction to getting started on the right path. The key to getting--and staying--organized is to look beyond the stuff and imagine the life you could be living. Put most simply: It's about how you see your life, before all else. Before the moving and the sorting, before the decision making and the negotiation, before the tough calls and the tears. I've mentioned it before, and now it's time for you to take it seriously. The first task I give my clients, and the first challenge I want to present to you is: Imagine the life you want to live.
Imagine the life you want to live. I cannot think of a sentence that has had more impact on the lives of the people I have worked with. I'll repeat it again: Imagine the life you want to live. Life is never perfect, but we all have unique visions of the lives we wish were ours. When clutter fills your home, not only does it block your space, but it also blocks your vision. It has often seemed to me that people at some stage stop seeing the clutter--even when they can't see over it! They move around it as though it were not there. This first step takes you beyond the clutter, the mess, the lack of organization, to determine how it is you picture your place in the world. It's a deceptively simple question and one that we seldom ask: What is the life you want?
I pondered my schedule, my house, my marriage, my family, my work, my possessions, my interests, my friendships, my values...everything I could think of that is part of this life in my 50's. I tried to picture how it could be different, how it could work better, how I would change things if I could. I imagined all sorts of alternatives and dreamed of finally getting to some magical place where I'd experience bliss for the rest of my years.
And then came what might have been one of the most important moments in my life, one that's important enough for me to stop and write about here: This is the life I want. I'm living the life I "imagine."
For some reason, this really stunned me. Not because I've felt dissatisfied...on the contrary, I've been quite satisfied. But I think that like most other people I've been semi-conscious that maybe there's some alternate universe or parallel life that might make me happier, and that maybe someday I'd get there. And this little exercise, prompted by a secular book about very temporal things, brought me to a realization that God has already given me the life of my dreams and that I haven't been grateful enough for that reality.
There are some circumstances in our lives that can't be improved by imagining the life we want and making changes inside our four walls to get there. Nothing about a terminal illness, or divorce and single motherhood, or unemployment, or wayward children, or an abusive husband can be erased by getting all your kids' toys in bins or culling out your scrapbooking supplies. And I'm not claiming that everyone should be as satisfied with his or her life as I am with mine; there are some really wonderful people who are living lives they legitimately don't want and are working hard to change.
What I'm saying is that sometimes we have a mindset that discourages our ever being satisfied, and it was good for me to reach a point where I admitted that I'm already living the life of my dreams. Not your dreams--you may think I should be wanting more, or less, or different. But my dreams and my life line up pretty much perfectly as I sit here at 54 years old.
No, life isn't perfect. There are always things I would change at the margins--daily irritations, things breaking down, pain, sales calls at dinner time. But my dreams and my life are in sync, and that feels good. Not only does it feel good, it is good. And recognizing and giving thanks for it is good. Only God's grace has preserved me to this point and given me this gift, and not being able to see it would be a shame, wouldn't it?
I hope you're living the life of your dreams. If you're not, I hope that God will be glorified in your circumstances as you wait and watch and pray. Most of all, I hope you'll be able to see all the places where life is what you imagine and give thanks...
And now...curtain please... the Newspaper Revitalization Act!
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks.
"This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media chains but it should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat," said Senator Benjamin Cardin.
A Cardin spokesman said the bill had yet to attract any co-sponsors, but had sparked plenty of interest within the media, which has seen plunging revenues and many journalist layoffs.
Cardin's Newspaper Revitalization Act would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code, giving them a similar status to public broadcasting companies.
I'm waiting for the bailout for kids' lemonade stands. Oh, wait...those are already illegal in many places.
Dreaming of President Petraeus and an American Surge
Labels: Political Observation
Headed toward extinction?
But what you might not know is that language can actually turn poison into a gift.
The government's TARP plan was never a big hit with the public, based as it was on saddling the taxpayer with troubled, or "toxic" assets (which seems to me to be the very definition of "liabilities," not "assets," but whatever...). So what to do to make the next round more palatable?
These poison loans, poison because they have a low probability of ever being paid back, let alone making a profit for their lenders, and in desperate need of YOU taking over the payments, will hereafter be known as -- TA DA --
Isn't it beautiful? Now we have the added advantage of being reminded daily, hourly, that our skyrocketing tax bills, coming runaway inflation, and decreasing ability to get legitimate home loans is really just a way of giving a lovely gift to our children and posterity! Come on, folks, LEGACY! Who doesn't want to be in on that? You'd be downright unpatriotic and yes, anti-family, to be against legacies, right?
It's a stroke of genius!
Unfortunately you can put lipstick on a pig, but....
U.S. Treasury ‘White Paper’ on Buying ‘Legacy’ Assets
Meltdown 101: What are toxic assets?
Where did the past week go? It's one of the times when I'm sure I must be the lead character in a Truman Show-type movie and someone edited a whole week on the cutting room floor and didn't tell me!
Next year will be our 25th "anniversary" year of homeschooling. I'm mulling over some ways I might like to mark the year with some special activities, both in the family and in writing... (And yes, Anne, I know that makes you feel very old.)
Our house has seen a resurgence of interest among our kids and grandkids in the classic game "Battleship." I remember being astounded when the first versions came out, because my father taught me to play when I was a child and we did it with pencil and paper! It was kind of a sophisticated tic-tac-toe and we spent hours at it...now I smile at how my kiddos think that Hasbro invented the game!
And of course I have to report that the new trampoline is already about the most popular thing at Granny's House, right after the water in the door of the refrigerator. We've seen a lot less computer and X-box use and a lot more outdoor play (and sunbathing, LOL) since getting the tramp replacement up and bouncing!
Once again this week I've been amused at how many people (okay, me included to some extent) waste time and key strokes complaining about the latest changes on Facebook, as though we all have some kind of stake in the piece of real estate there. Technology is a funny thing.
I love it. As we get closer and closer to spring recitals, I hear more and more lovely music in this house.
Yes. Avocado Potato Salad works. And then you don't need dessert. Except that Orange Pound Cake doesn't hurt either :-)
REGARDING ATLAS SHRUGGED: This week, having started through the book again, I decided I should write a bit of a disclaimer. Sometimes you can read a very long book and absorb the magnitude of the themes and the plot and forget other things that might be hanging around the edges. After re-reading the first quarter of the book (and even that is a feat, huh?) I want to add a caveat or two. Ayn Rand was not only not a Christian, she was blatantly immoral and even her economic and moral philosophy (commonly referred to as "objectivism") included a hostility to some things Christians hold dear. This comes through in her work, although not as much in this book as in The Fountainhead. Her characters are sinful human beings who many times act quite sinfully; occasionally Rand's description of the sin is a little more graphic than I am comfortable with so I can imagine the clucks it was met with in the 1950s! And it makes me wonder about the wisdom of the teacher who recommended it to me in the 9th grade...I certainly wouldn't recommend it to your children or anyone that young. What I would recommend is that YOU read it for the unsettling mirror it holds up to what is happening in our country in a new millennium and for the timeless observations of human nature, and then discuss the themes with your kids. You are, of course, free to skip over passages that might be objectionable. You'll get the gist of what's happening without reading every word.
And from this morning's worship...
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be 'til I die!
Maggots no wonder cure for festering wounds
(I started to include a photo, but I just couldn't make myself do it. You're welcome.)
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.
Administration Seeks Increase in Oversight of Executive Pay
Back in 1500, we learn from a Princeton professor, the Aztecs figured the climate debate was over, and that if you wanted rain and sunshine and other such blessings, it was simple enough what you had to do – sacrifice 20,000 lives a year to the right gods.
In the year 2009, it's an equally sure thing in the minds of some that carbon in the atmosphere is going to fry us unless we put the welfare of millions on the line, and here is the latest on President Obama's plan – it could cost industry almost $2 trillion over an eight-year period.
That hefty sum to be paid out to a cap-and-trade carbon tax would snatch money from the pockets of consumers far more than rising oil prices did, hinder economic growth and instill other ways generate human misery, and all in the name of what? Computer models that can't get anything right, that's what.
We've already been assured by the Dems that we'll be sacrificed to the climate God. Now we just wait and try to decide what we'll request as our last meal.
I disagree with him on one point only:
It is at this point that the phenomenon known as "too clever by half" sets in. Technically, it is indistinguishable from arrogance and hubris, but it is unnecessary to stress the point. Sixty days into his first term (and I begin to doubt there'll be a second), he would seem already to have dug a hole from which no rhetorical skill can lift him.
I'd love to be nodding my head at the "I begin to doubt there'll be a second." Unfortunately I lived through the mess that was Bill Clinton and I firmly believe that he'd have been elected a third and fourth time if he could have had the Constitution changed. The majority of voters went to the polls and voted for Obama with their fingers in their ears, knowing exactly what they were getting and refusing to hear the dangers, and they will do it again.
Too Clever by Half
Even in the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, New York knows how to throw a party. For most of yesterday hundreds of thousands of people made a sea of green that paraded up Fifth Avenue to mark St Patrick’s Day. Tens of thousands lined the street to watch them. The all-day party, fuelled by imports of Guinness and whiskey, seemed the more intensely engaged upon as an escape from omnipresent financial gloom.
Away from the party, the mood in America’s cultural and business capital is more firmly anchored in stark reality, and quite different from the euphoria that pervaded it when I was last here, on election day. President Obama still enjoys the popularity that comes with not being George Bush, especially in a city top-heavy with Democrats. But his initial response to the global calamity that he found on entering the Oval Office has not inspired popularity’s more sober elder brother, confidence. Large constituencies, notably business, are voicing their scepticism openly. The President’s much-vaunted $787 billion stimulus package is being widely interpreted, even by some of those (such as Warren Buffett, America’s second-richest man) who openly supported Mr Obama for the presidency, as a serious failure. And we are only just past the first 50 days.
Read it all.
Information Age Prayer
And be sure to click here if you're interested in the package deals. Every dollar counts in a bad economy.
hat tip: Annie W.
Labels: Theater of the Absurd
Audible.com is running a special sale of 200 books for $4.95 each, and Atlas Shrugged is one of them! This is the unabridged, 63 hour version that usually sells for $48.97! If you have an iPod or iPhone and can listen while you work, ride in the car, or wait at a doctor's office, this is a painless way to take advantage of what I think is this year's most important secular book. Walk don't run...do not pass go, do NOT pay $200. Pay less than $5 and this book is yours on audio forever! (You can also buy it and then burn it to CD if you don't listen on iPod--a little clunkier but still WAY worth it. Or you can download and listen right from your laptop. No excuses.)
Sale ends March 19. Come back and let me know if you take advantage of the deal!
God saves no man to his harm. And God saves none against his will. Grace makes the sinner willing. It is a secret exercise of omnipotence on the hidden man of the heart coaxing and alluring him to salvation and glory by Christ. It is always effectual but it is never brute strength.
- Maurice Roberts, The Thought of God (Carlisle, Pa.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1993), 21.
MILWAUKEE -- The bitter cold and record snowfalls from two wicked winters are causing people to ask if the global climate is truly changing. The climate is known to be variable and, in recent years, more scientific thought and research has been focused on the global temperature and how humanity might be influencing it.
However, a new study by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee could turn the climate change world upside down.
So when will honest science begin to drown out the screaming of the Gore Priests?
W-Milwaukee Study Could Realign Climate Change Theory: Scientists Claim Earth Is Undergoing Natural Climate Shift
The Intel Czar’s Picks: Not Too Intelligent?
We didn't have much of a winter in our part of the world, but at least we're having a fairly nice spring. Sometimes by mid-March we're already melting, but we had the heat on this morning and got to wear jackets to church. That probably ends tomorrow, but the cool wet air has been very nice...
Many of you have asked about my mother. She had a very successful knee replacement surgery on Tuesday morning and has now been moved to the rehab side of the hospital to learn to use that new knee. Her surgeon was surprised at how bad her existing knee was and the surgery took nearly twice as long as he had estimated, but she is doing fine now. The rehab is a challenge for a Parkinson's patient, but so far she's participating vigorously and looking forward to walking without pain again. Thanks to those of you who prayed for her!
If you've got a very good memory, you might remember me talking about getting an AeroGrow herb garden last year. For some reason (probably dozens of reasons) I never actually unpacked it and started using it. Until yesterday. It's now sitting and glowing above my kitchen sink and hopefully germinating seven different herbs. I can hardly wait!
We're also tossing around the idea of trying a real garden this year. San Antonio's early growing season makes it very tempting, but it can be very discouraging when everything is parched by June. Gives a whole new meaning to "Fried Green Tomatoes." We know we can't do it without devising some kind of elaborate shelter from the afternoon sun, but we might just be ready to try!
Our kids have enjoyed their spring break week, although it seems as though OUR spring break week and the ones they have in music, online classes, and their local science classes never seem to coincide with the one I schedule. And then of course two of them had to take their SAT on Saturday, which wasn't ideal either. At least they've all had a break from the normal routine and we'll dive back in tomorrow morning.
What a joy to welcome the Slaughters back into the membership of our church today. Kristen and Dave were charter members of our church nearly five years ago, so this is really a homecoming for all of us. Here are some photos from our membership vow ceremony this morning...
Pastor/Uncle/"Apu" Dirk welcomes Molly to the fellowship...
Henry is considering accepting the welcome but isn't quite so sure...
The family once again becomes church family as well...
...and what a tear-jerker to hear our church family's children sing "Welcome to the Family" to our newest members! (This song has become part of who we are at Covenant of Grace. Do click on the link and turn on your volume if you don't know the song! )
Another blessing is that Kristen has started baking our weekly communion bread. I don't have a photo, but I did hear some complaints from a certain unnamed music leader who was so distracted by the aroma in front of him this morning that he forgot where the downbeats were.
And from our morning together...
again our grateful tribute bring, our solemn vows record.
Here have we seen your face, and felt your presence here;
so may the savor of your grace in word and life appear.
In self-forgetting love be our communion shown,
until we join the church above, and know as we are known!
The more I read Mark Steyn, the more I'm convinced that he may just be this generation's Jeremiah. Not in a spiritual sense, you understand, but as a political and social observer, crying out to a nation who's not listening. It's not that we're failing to listen in the passive sense, as in distracted and concentrating on other things; we're actively, aggressively failing to listen, pushing whole bolls of cotton (yes, bolls--they're bigger than balls) in our ears at the first sound of his voice:
Just between you, me, and the old, the late middle-aged and the early middle-aged: Isn't it terrific to be able to stick it to the young? I mean, imagine how bad all this economic-type stuff would be if our kids and grandkids hadn't offered to pick up the tab.
Well, OK, they didn't exactly "offer" but they did stand around behind Barack Obama at all those campaign rallies helping him look dynamic and telegenic and earnestly chanting hopey-hopey-changey-changey. And "Yes, we can!"
Which is a pretty open-ended commitment.
Are you sure you young folks will be able to pay off this massive Mount Spendmore of multitrillion-dollar debts we've piled up on you?
"Yes, we can!"
Friends, it's getting scary. No, I don't want to have to do without all the niceties that my parents voted in. I'm used to them, and doing without them now would feel like poverty. And that's the way our kids are going to feel about the things we're voting them now...but the next generation pays the bills for the last and we have just charged more than they can EVER pay.
But hey, it's not our problem. As Lord Keynes observed, "In the long run we're all dead." Well, most of us will be. But not you youngsters, not for a while. So we've figured it out: You're the ultimate credit market, and the rest of us are all preapproved!
Pay attention, you 18-30 year olds: It may already be too late, given the fact that Obama & Co. are just beginning to get started on sucking out the dollars you're earning now to keep all of my generation in Depends and Ensure. But every penny you refuse to let them suck out now is a dollar you'll still have to pay for your own box later.
This is the biggest generational transfer of wealth in the history of the world. If you're an 18-year-old middle-class hopeychanger, look at the way your parents and grandparents live: It's not going to be like that for you. You're going to have a smaller house, and a smaller car – if not a basement flat and a bus ticket. You didn't get us into this catastrophe. But you're going to be stuck with the tab, just like the Germans got stuck with paying reparations for the catastrophe of the First World War. True, the Germans were actually in the war, whereas in the current crisis you guys were just goofing around at school, dozing through Diversity Studies and hoping to ace Anger Management class. But tough. That's the way it goes.Please read Steyn's whole column. And have ya started Atlas Shrugged yet? Don't wait for the library copy...chances are good you can't read it in the amount of time they'll let you keep it anyway. Spring for the fourteen bucks and then pass it on to someone else you know will read it.
It's an investment that will bring much heftier returns than TARP.
Welcome, kids, to the Brokest Generation
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 13) - Ten children drank windshield wiper fluid after a staffer at an Arkansas day care mistakenly put the liquid in a refrigerator and served it, hospital officials said Friday.Doctors estimate the children, ages 2 to 7, drank about an ounce of the blue fluid late Thursday afternoon before realizing it tasted wrong, said Laura James, a pediatric pharmacologist and toxicologist at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.
This wasn't a mistake--a mistake would be giving the wrong child peanut butter. Wiper fluid in the fridge? I am beyond appalled.
Day Care Mistakenly Gives Kids Car Fluid
Raleigh, N.C. — A judge in Wake County said three Raleigh children need switch from home school to public school. Judge Ned Mangum is presiding over divorce proceeding of the children's parents, Thomas and Venessa Mills.At least the judge is being honest about his motives. Many are going to drag out the socialization excuse in order to avoid charges of religious discrimination. However, I fear that there will come a time when religious discrimination will be perfectly acceptable and won't need to be disguised. This guy is just ahead of his time...
Venessa Mills was in the fourth year of home schooling her children who are 10, 11 and 12 years old. They have tested two years above their grade levels, she said.
"We have math, reading; we have grammar, science, music,” Venessa Mills said.
Her lessons also have a religious slant, which the judge said was the root of the problem.
Wake judge orders home schoolers into public classrooms
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 11, 2009 (Reuters) — Anyone who has visited Disneyland recently and taken a sip from a drinking fountain there may have unknowingly sampled a taste of the future -- a small quantity of water that once flowed through a sewer.
U.S. high-tech water future hinges on cost, politics
In March I begin to smell spring. Even before it's really here. Better looking produce...the end of the school year...spring piano recitals...vacation plans...new growth on the crape myrtles. Asparagus. I can taste it now.
This week we became the recipients of a (free!) Hammond organ, built around the time I was born. We've given it a prominent place in our "living room" (more accurately, the music room!) and the girls are looking forward to learning to play. When I look at it (and even smell it), all I can think of is sitting up on the bench beside my grandmother as she played, and thinking that she must have been the most talented woman in the world. In truth her musical skill was very limited, but she shared what she had and carved out a unique place in my soul...
It's so nice to have the Slaughters back in town. Yes, for all the reasons you'd think and one you might not: I have a list a foot long of projects I need Dave to tackle, in and out of the house, this spring. In some ways I hope he stays busy enough not to have time for me. On the other hand...
I'm still working my way through Crime and Punishment and again, like with The Brothers Karamazov, wondering what took me so long to tackle this great literature...
Have you taken me up on my challenge to read Atlas Shrugged? Joanna has. Come on--you can do this! Even though I just read it fairly recently, I've decided to read it again this year since it has become so much more relevant to what our country is experiencing than it was when I last picked it up.
I've always liked the idea of having a wheat grinder since we make so much of our own bread, but I've bristled at the prices, wondering how many decades it would take to recover the cost from the savings on bulk wheat. Now we're tossing around the idea of having our families here pool resources and have one to share...and since we ALL bake bread, we KNOW we'd recover the cost much sooner. Now just to decide which one. Opinions on this topic are as passionate as they are about homeschool curriculum!
I'm leaving tomorrow morning to be with my mother while she has knee replacement surgery. Having been the recipient of more than one joint replacement, I know she's in for some difficult days and challenging rehab, so I'd appreciate your prayers for her...
I hope you've had a wonderful Sunday. I'm off to pack!
Are you facebooking?
This morning, the Fortune/CNN Money site has a very interesting analysis of the Facebook phenom, and it's worth spending your Saturday time reading it if you want to be aware of some of the factors that may play into how Facebook ends up changing our world. No, I don't mean changing it for the better or the worse, but changing the way we operate, think, and process. If you haven't already been captivated by what this article calls the "stickiness" of Facebook, perhaps you've been on a very long vacation.
Facebook started out as a place for college kids and alum to find each other, but unlike some sectors of the tech world, it's really been co-opted by a huge cross-section of the population...
But these days the folks fervently updating their Facebook pages aren't just tech-savvy kids: The college and post-college crowd the site originally aimed to serve (18- to 24-year-olds) now makes up less than a quarter of users. The newest members - the ones behind Facebook's accelerating growth rate - are more, ahem, mature types like Lichtenstein, who never thought they'd have the time or inclination to overshare on the web. It's just that Facebook has finally started to make their busy lives a little more productive - and a lot more fun.
If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of how technology continues to shape networking, marketing, hiring, etc., don't neglect watching social media and particularly Facebook:
[CEO Mark Zuckerberg's] ultimate goal is less poetic - and perhaps more ambitious: to turn Facebook into the planet's standardized communication (and marketing) platform, as ubiquitous and intuitive as the telephone but far more interactive, multidimensional - and indispensable. Your Facebook ID quite simply will be your gateway to the digital world, Zuckerberg predicts. "We think that if you can build one worldwide platform where you can just type in anyone's name, find the person you're looking for, and communicate with them," he told a German audience in January, "that's a really valuable system to be building."
Go read the whole article, and don't miss the sidebar graphic, "The Race to the Mass Market." Astounding.
I'm outta here...gotta go update my FB status :-)
How Facebook is taking over our lives
Reality gives lie to the myth, especially in a recession:
Stark's hottest job
A 23-year-old Chicago man was charged with first-degree murder today after officials said he "took a mechanical implement" and struck a Bloomingdale business owner he claims made sexual advances at him about 25 times on the head.
No bail for suspect in Bloomingdale slaying
hat tip: Trish, who writes, "I'm trying to imagine what act was being attempted."
Attention those of you with 4-8 year olds: Mommy Life (for those of you in our HOPE group, this is the blog of Barbara Curtis--author of the book we're currently reading) has a great post today on making the decision to homeschool little ones. While her post is narrow in scope, speaking specifically to parents concerned with teaching their own children to read rather than risking having them labeled with some kind of learning disability in state schools, it's definitely worth reading and considering. My reasons for home education go way beyond teaching reading, but every aspect of the decision is worth careful and thoughtful research. Curtis is the mother of ten and has experience with both home and state education and her voice is reasoned and gracious. Even if you are not inclined to make homeschooling your family's lifestyle over the long haul, do read her post!
It's National Grammar Day!
It's one of Granny's favorite "holidays," right behind Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving and Van Buren Day. I haven't exactly decided what traditions I want to establish for National Grammar Day, so until then I'll let those of you who are so inclined just browse:
National Grammar Day is March 4
Which Grammar Will You Be Celebrating on National Grammar Day?
National Grammar Day 2009: the Bloggers
National Grammar Day: Exploring Unbeknownst
I'll be out of pocket next Wednesday, so unless I end up with unexpected time on my hands, W.O.W. will be on vacation...but I'm planning some doozies :-)
Scientist Solves Mystery of Belly-Button Lint
“We declare on scriptural authority that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful, supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will ever be constrained toward Christ.”
~~Charles Spurgeon (Sermons, Vol. 4, p.139)
hat tip: Of First Importance
Feb. 27th, 93 degrees. March 1, waking up to 30 degrees. Yep, that's south Texas for ya.
I'm amused to see the movement toward a Boston-style "tea party" in protest of Obama's stimulus plan and budget (and I guess we will now have to re-define "budget," huh?). As good as it is to see a grassroots movement rising against the Theater of the Absurd, I'm not encouraged that the results will be as positive as those in Boston in 1773. After all, the colonials only had to throw off the yoke of a tyrannical king who sat across a vast expanse of ocean, the crossing of which could take months. We are faced with a president who was fairly elected by a majority of Americans and who view him as the One who will lead us to the promised land. How does a grassroots movement fight that?
How nice to look up this morning and see our blogger friend Grafted Branch and her sweet family in our midst at church!
This is the saddest story I've heard in a very long time and a good illustration of how sin leaves us with no good options. Those who decry the making of choices they label the "lesser of evils" should tackle this one.
It's March! That means it's time to get down to the brass tacks of planning our family vacation this year in Red River, New Mexico. This time vacation will be with lots of our extended family, in a place where we've stayed many times before, so there are fewer unknowns (and less planning) than with our vacation in the Smokies last year. Sometime during the week, we're all going to take the ski lift to the top of the mountain where John's brother Jack and his wife Beverly are going to renew wedding vows after 30 years of marriage. What a setting!
Sad to see the passing of Paul Harvey yesterday. The word "icon" doesn't even do this man justice. His inimitable voice is one that takes me back to my early childhood...
The clothing industry must be getting better at some things. Yesterday Beth asked me to sew a button on for her (at 18, such things are still a little tough) and I realized that it's been a couple of years since someone asked me to sew on a button! Maybe not that long, but long enough that it's not common any more. And believe me, that's not because they're doing it themselves! Have you noticed less trouble with missing buttons?
This week we'll replace our trampoline. After five years, the elements have finally done it in (helped out by Blair and Tiffany ;-) ) and we miss it! It serves multiple functions around Granny's House...it's used for jumping, wrestling, sunbathing, picture-taking and, occasionally, group lunches. The place just doesn't seem the same without it. Soon we'll be bounding again!
Just try to schedule dental and eye appointments for your kids during spring break week! I practically had to offer what's left of our retirement account!
That's all for the Snippets...hope you all have a lovely week!