Martians: Your SUV's are ruining your planet!

Climate change hits Mars!


Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.

Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.

Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.

Comment: Demonstrates that there is more to the Earth's warming than SUV's, CO2, etc.

Must See TV - Minisodes!

Coming Online Soon: The Five-Minute ‘Charlie’s Angels’


The question probably never occurred to viewers in the 1970s and 1980s, but suddenly it is highly relevant: exactly how much worthwhile entertainment content was there in shows like “Charlie’s Angels,” “T. J. Hooker,” and “Starsky and Hutch”?

The Sony Corporation and its production studio, Sony Pictures Television, which controls the rights to those and many other relics of a distant era of television, have come up with an answer to that question: three and a half to five minutes.

That’s the length Sony has shrunk episodes down to in order to create what the company hopes is an appealing new business in retooling old shows for a new era of entertainment. Sony even has a name for these shrunken slices of television nostalgia: minisodes.

Comment: I doubt that there is 3 1/2 minutes of worthwhile entertainment in the entire Charlie's Angels library! (I was there in the 70's!)


Will Randy spoil the Pats?

Patriots acquire Randy Moss from Raiders


The Oakland Raiders cut ties with Randy Moss after two unproductive seasons, sending the former Pro Bowl receiver to the New England Patriots on Sunday for a fourth-round draft pick.

Moss was disgruntled for most of his two seasons in Oakland, and said frequently last season he thought he'd be better off with another team. The 30-year-old wanted to be dealt either to New England or Green Bay and got his wish.


  1. He is not a team player
  2. He is a slacker
  3. He has a giant ego
  4. He will not be good for the Pats
  5. I'm not convinced he will be a starter and perhaps will not make the team

For another view: Coup for Patriots, because Moss will come alive: Disgruntled, mercurial receiver will finally get chance to win Super Bowl


Playing the "religion card"

Partial-Birth Bigotry: The know-nothing left blames the latest abortion ruling on Catholicism.


Playing the religion card is worse than silly because it shows how intellectually lazy the liberal defense of Roe has become.

Comment: I did not know that 5 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices are Catholic!

Working BCP event

BCP = Business Continuity Planning (Disaster Recovery)

About 6-7 times a year, our company has a BCP test. We similate the complete destruction (and loss of data) at our main data center and we bring up the company's data and operations in our BCP (backup) datacenter 1800 miles away. Twice a year we not only bring up the data but also run operations for between 24 and 48 hours.

While I no longer work in BCP, I was asked to partipate in this month's event. I am working remote today at one of our rural data centers. I am working from 3 until 1 a.m. tomorrow.

I am answering phones and basically tracking the progress. I am in a highly secured area with access via what is called a man trap: "A common man-trap in modern physical security protocols includes having two sets of doors such that the first set of doors must close before the second set opens. Identification must be provided for each door, often different measures for each door. For example, a key may open the first door, but a personal identification number entered on a number pad opens the second. These man-traps can be configured so that when an alarm is activated, all doors lock and trap the suspect between the doors in the 'dead-space'.". Twice I have been stuck in the man trap and security has had to get me out. Why? Because with my crutches I do not move fast enough. Oh well.

Now 9:20 p.m.

I took a nice break outside from 8:45 until 9:05. I sat on the tailgate of my pickup truck and called Kathee at the house and later my Mother. What a beautiful night: clear ... almost a full moon.

One bad thing about BCP events is all the junk food: M&Ms, beef jerky, pizza, chips. I have succumbed.

Now on my last leg ... 3 1/2 more hours and I leave for home.

Fuzzy Climate Math

Fuzzy climate math


Ben & Jerry's ice cream might be even more sinister: A gallon of it requires electricity-guzzling refrigeration and four gallons of milk produced by cows that simultaneously produce eight gallons of manure and flatulence with eight gallons of methane. The cows do this while consuming lots of grain and hay, which are cultivated by using tractor fuel, chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides, and transported by fuel-consuming trains and trucks.

Comment: Read the whole article. See how a Big Mac is worse for the environment than a BMW (according to some!)


Higher Taxes in Minnesota?

House passes tax bill

Why it is a poor idea for Minnesota: Many of the very wealthy can easily establish residency out of state (say Florida) and avoid Minnesota income taxes altogether. An example of this residency change is here: TCF's Cooper flies the coop to Florida. I have a friend who is a millionaire and already lives in Florida for almost half the year. All he has to do is to live in his Florida home for another 2 or three weeks and he will be a Florida resident and not pay any income taxes in Minnesota. Higher income taxes could very well drive wealthy retirees out of Minnesota. Additionally it would discourage businesses from retaining headquarter (executive) jobs in state.

Why it won't happen: Governor Pawlenty will veto it.


"Tax, tax, tax. Spend, spend, spend," said Rep. Paul Kohls, R-Victoria. "Minnesotans beware, the House Democrats are trying to pick your pocket."

"This is one of the most massive, invasive, pervasive, poor-folk hurtin', middle-class back-breakin', tax-the-rich bashin', class-warfare baitin' tax increase I have ever seen in my time as a state representative," added 17-year Republican Rep. Steve Smith of Mound.

Pawlenty reiterated his tax stance during his weekly radio show Friday.

"We didn't raise taxes when we had a huge deficit," Pawlenty said. "I don't know why we'd do it now when we have a surplus."

End of week

I found this interesting: Quake brings WWII PT boat up from ocean floor. See Earlier Post: Island Lifted 10 Feet

  1. I work the BCP (Business Continuity Planning (Disaster Recovery)) event tomorrow from 3 until 1 a.m. Sunday. I volunteered. I've been away from BCP for 11 months. I think I want to go back. If George were to have an opening I would probably apply.
  2. Roof: Allstate agreed to buy us a new roof. Tomorrow we meet with Westurn Roofing representative on details. I'm not sure if Allstate & Westurn have agreed on the costs.
  3. Kathee and I stopped by Subway (Friday tradition) on the way home from work.
  4. Tonight's reading: Joshua 21. Key verses: 43-45, "So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass."

10 dumbest resume blunders

Having trouble finding a new job? Cheer up. When it comes to resumes, a new survey reveals just how clueless some of your competition is

A job candidate...

  1. attached a letter from her mother.
  2. used pale blue paper with teddy bears printed around the border.
  3. explained a three-month gap in employment by saying that he was getting over the death of his cat.
  4. specified that his availability to work Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays is limited because the weekends are "drinking time."
  5. included a picture of herself in a cheerleading uniform.
  6. drew a picture of a car on the outside of the envelope and said the car would be a gift to the hiring manager.
  7. listed hobbies that included sitting on a levee at night watching alligators.
  8. mentioned the fact that her sister had once won a strawberry-eating contest.
  9. stated that he works well in the nude.
  10. explained an arrest record by stating, "We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig."


Tenacious = "persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired"

This is for all the 5th, 6th, and 7th year college students: STICK to it! It's worth it!

Woman, 95, to Be Oldest College Graduate


When 95-year-old Nola Ochs graduates next month, she will be the world's oldest college graduate. The record Ochs will break, according to Guinness World Records, belongs to Mozelle Richardson, who at age 90 in 2004 received a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma.

On Thursday, the Kansas Legislature honored Ochs with praise and standing ovations.

Ochs did not plan to break records. She started taking classes at a community college after her husband of 39 years, Vernon, died in 1972. A class here and there over the years, and she was close to having enough hours for an undergraduate degree.

Last fall, Ochs moved the 100 miles from her farm to an apartment at Fort Hays State University to complete the final 30 hours to get a general studies degree with an emphasis on history.

By the way: she never asked her parents for money!

Cold Fusion DATADIFF function

I did something new with Cold Fusion today at work and I pass this on:

  1. Problem: Need to calculate a time interval between dates.
  2. Solution: datadiff()

In my case, I had to display an icon based on the date calculation. A green dot if the date was less than 91 days; a yellow dot for 91-180 days, and a red dot for 181+ days.

datediff() calculates date intervals of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years. I used the days. Sample code follows:

<cfset days_since_reviewed = #datediff("d",reviewed_date,dateformat(now(),'mm/dd/yyyy'))#>
<cfif #days_since_reviewed# gt 180>
<cfset reviewed_image="red_dot.gif">
<cfelseif #days_since_reviewed# gt 90 AND #days_since_reviewed# lt 181>
<cfset reviewed_image="yellow_dot.gif">
<cfelseif #days_since_reviewed# lt 90>
<cfset reviewed_image="green_dot.gif">

Adobe Livedocs

Sarah's refuge from modern life

The woman who needs a veil of protection from modern life


No, she's NOT a beekeeper. This woman believes that her bizarre headgear can save her from the dangerous electrosmog all around us. Can she possibly be right?

Comment: This is basically a variation of the following:

A better approach:

Matthew 11:28-29

Jesus: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.


Can't they plane-pool?

2008 Candidates Rely on Private Jets


A flock of small jets took flight from Washington Thursday, each carrying a Democratic presidential candidate to South Carolina for the first debate of the political season.

For Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, it was wheels up shortly after they voted in favor of legislation requiring that U.S. troops begin returning home from Iraq in the fall.

No one jet pooled, no one took commercial flights to save money, fuel or emissions. All but Biden, who flew on a private jet, chartered their flights -- a campaign expense of between $7,500 and $9,000.

Comment: Before they solve the global warming problem by taxing us ... perhaps they should learn to plane-pool first. Kathee and I car pool every day! We are saving the planet one car-pool at a time!

It's the Sun! Not the CO2

Global warming debate 'irrational': scientists


Carleton University science professor Tim Patterson said global warming will not bring about the downfall of life on the planet.

Patterson said much of the up-to-date research indicates that "changes in the brightness of the sun" are almost certainly the primary cause of the warming trend since the end of the "Little Ice Age" in the late 19th century. Human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas of concern in most plans to curb climate change, appear to have little effect on global climate, he said.

"I think the proof in the pudding, based on what (media and governments) are saying, (is) we're about three quarters of the way (to disaster) with the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere," said Patterson. "The world should be heating up like crazy by now, and it's not. The temperatures match very closely with the solar cycles."

Patterson explained CO2 is not a pollutant, but an essential plant food.

Billions of taxpayers' dollars are spent to control the emissions of this benign gas, in the mistaken belief that they can stop climate change, he said.

"The only constant about climate is change," said Patterson.

Patterson said money could be better spent on places like Africa.

"All the money wasted on Kyoto in a year could provide clean drinking water for Africa," said Patterson. "We're into a new era of science with the discussion of solar forces. Eventually, Kyoto is going to fall by the wayside. In the meantime, I'm worried we're going to spend millions that could have been spent on something better like air pollution."

Comment: Rational thought on global warming!

Where I will live in retirement

"Women's town" to put men in their place


The 2.3-square-km Longshuihu village in the Shuangqiao district of Chongqing municipality, also known as "women's town," was based on the local traditional concept of "women rule and men obey," a tourism official told Reuters.

"Traditional women dominate and men have to be obedient in the areas of Sichuan province and Chongqing, and now we are using it as an idea to attract tourists and boost tourism," the official, surname Li, said by telephone.

The motto of the new town would be "women never make mistakes, and men can never refuse women's requests," Chinese media have reported.

Comment: This is my wife's motto too! "women never make mistakes". Hmmm


Will the DOW crack 13,000?

Live Link

Comment: I graduated from college in 1971 with a degree in Business (University of Cincinnati). At that time, the DOW had not yet passed 1,000.

More on the DOW

Thousands sign up for journey beyond death

Thousands sign up for journey beyond death


The 33-year-old real estate agent is among more than 7,000 people who have agreed to donate their bodies for plastination, a process in which body fluids are replaced by liquid plastic. The plastic hardens, leaving tissues intact and allowing bodies to be displayed in their natural color and without formaldehyde.

The process was made popular by Gunther von Hagens' "Body Worlds," a controversial anatomy exhibit that puts real human specimens on view. Most are flayed and dissected, revealing their organs. Others are kept intact and displayed in dramatic action poses, such as a basketball player driving to the hoop or a runner in full stride.

"I've always been a big believer in science and medicine," said Owens, of Dallas. "It's like me kind of giving back to knowledge and to anyone out there who's interested in science."


The real "journey beyond death" pertains to one's soul. The answer is not "plastination" but "salvation"! Faith in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is the true preparation for one's eternal journey! ("saved" in Romans)

Vanishing bees

Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons

Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons
Published: April 24, 2007
More than a quarter of the country’s bee colonies have been lost, and no one can say what is to blame.


More than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost — tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives.


So far, colony collapse disorder has been found in 27 states, according to Bee Alert Technology Inc., a company monitoring the problem. A recent survey of 13 states by the Apiary Inspectors of America showed that 26 percent of beekeepers had lost half of their bee colonies between September and March.

Honeybees are arguably the insects that are most important to the human food chain. They are the principal pollinators of hundreds of fruits, vegetables, flowers and nuts. The number of bee colonies has been declining since the 1940s, even as the crops that rely on them, such as California almonds, have grown.

Comment: Also in the Minnesota news:

Why are the bees disappearing?


Minnesota beekeepers, whose hives are still in hibernation, will learn in coming days how hard they've been hit.

Comment: Of interest to me because bees facinate me and Kathee has expressed a desire to be a bee-keeper when we retire.


Demoniacal Possessions

The most marked exhibition of the power of evil spirits over the bodies and minds of men, is afforded by the demoniacs so often mentioned in the evangelical history. These demoniacal possessions were of two kinds. First, those in which the soul alone was the subject of the diabolic influence, as in the case of the "damsel possessed with a spirit of divination," mentioned in Acts xvi. 16. Perhaps in some instances false prophets and magicians were examples of the same kind of possession. Secondly, those in which the bodies alone, or as was more frequently the case, both the body and mind were the subjects of this spiritual influence. By possession is meant the inhabitation of an evil spirit in such relation to the body and soul as to exert a controlling influence, producing violent agitations and great suffering, both mental and corporeal. That the demoniacs mentioned in the New Testament were not mere lunatics or the subjects of epilepsy or other analogous diseases, but cases of real possession, is plain, First, because this was the prevailing belief of the Jews at that time; and secondly, because Christ and his Apostles evidently adopted and sanctioned that belief. They not only called those thus affected demoniacs, but addressed the spirits as persons, commanded them, disposed of them, and in every way spoke and acted as they would have done had the popular belief been well founded. It is certain that all who heard Christ thus speak would and did conclude that he regarded the demoniacs as really possessed by evil spirits. This conclusion he nowhere contradicts; but on the contrary, in his most private conferences with the disciples abundantly confirmed. He promised to give them power to cast out demons; and referred to his possession of this power, and his ability to delegate its exercise to his disciples as one of the most convincing proofs of his Messiahship and divinity. He came to destroy the works of the devil; and that He did thus triumph over him and his angels, proved that He was what He claimed to be, the promised almighty king and conqueror, who was to found that kingdom of God of which there is to be no end. To explain all this on the principle of accommodation would destroy the authority of Scripture. On the same principle the doctrine of atonement, inspiration, divine influence, and every other distinctive doctrine of the Bible, may be, and has been explained away. We must take the Scriptures in their plain historical sense -- in that sense in which they were designed to be understood by those to whom they were addressed, or we do thereby reject them as a rule of faith.

Hodge v 1 p 645-646

  1. Kathee and I continued in Joshua tonight. Chapters 19 & 20
  2. Yard was fertilized today. Already starting to green up.
  3. Tomorrow we drive to Mankato in the afternoon. Rachel is being inducted into an honorary (academic) society.

paleoevangelical: The Cincinnati Reds, Virginia Tech, and Evangelical Fidelity

paleoevangelical: The Cincinnati Reds, Virginia Tech, and Evangelical Fidelity

I commented on this Earlier.

Cf Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men"

Ban these words!

Simmons Says 3 Epithets Should Be Banned


Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons said Monday that the recording and broadcast industries should consistently ban three racial and sexist epithets from all so-called clean versions of rap songs and the airwaves.

Currently such epithets are banned from most clean versions, but record companies sometimes "arbitrarily" decide which offensive words to exclude and there's no uniform standard for deleting such words, Simmons said.

The recommendations drew mixed reaction and come two weeks after some began carping anew about rap lyrics after radio personality Don Imus was fired by CBS Radio and NBC for referring to the players on the Rutgers university women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."

Expressing concern about the "growing public outrage" over the use of such words in rap lyrics, Simmons said the words "bitch,""ho" and "nigger" should be considered "extreme curse words".

"We recommend (they're) always out," Simmons, the pioneering entrepreneur who made millions of dollars as he helped shape hip-hop culture, said in an interview Monday. "This is a first step. It's a clear message and a consistency that we want the industry to accept for more corporate social responsibility."

Comment: I commend this call to clean up the airwaves. Now will Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Hillary, Nancy Pelosi, and Barak Obama get on board? Everyone who wanted Imus fired should have the same commitment as Russell Simmons! I'm waiting to hear from them!

Plymouth: New (toll) lane on I-494?

Toll lane could come to I-494 in Plymouth


Plans are in the works that could create a toll lane on Interstate Hwy. 494 through Plymouth. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is applying for a federal program that encourages creation of toll lanes as a way to mitigate congestion. The lanes would be similar to those now in use on I-394.

Comment: I'm for it! (Plymouth City Council opposes (in full article))


'Goldilocks' faith

'Goldilocks' faith serves lukewarm mush


For several generations, most Americans have embraced what could be described as the Goldilocks attitude toward religion: affirming faith choices that seemed not too soft but not too hard, not too hot but not too cool. Majorities viewed easy-going moderation and comforting compromise as the religious path that counted as "just right."

Comment: Thoughtful editorial from Michael Medved. He raises the question: "Do we want to hear truth from God ... or tell Him our truth" (my words not his)

Evil Angels

The Scriptures inform us that certain of the angels kept not their first estate. They are spoken of as the angels that sinned. They are called evil, or unclean spirits; principalities; powers; rulers of this world; and spiritual wickednesses (i.e., wicked spirits) in high places. The most common designation given to them is daimones, or more commonly daimonia, which our translators unfortunately render devils. The Scriptures make a distinction between diabolos and daimon, which is not observed in the English version. In the spiritual world there is only one diabolos (devil), but there are many daimonia (demons). These evil spirits are represented as belonging to the same order of beings as the good angels. All the names and titles, expressive of their nature and powers, given to the one are also given to the others. Their original condition was holy. When they fell or what was the nature of their sin is not revealed. The general opinion is that it was pride, founded on 1 Tim. iii. 6. A bishop, the Apostle says, must not be "a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil;" which is commonly understood to mean the condemnation which the devil incurred for the same sin. Some have conjectured that Satan was moved to rebel against God and to seduce our race from its allegiance, by the desire to rule over our globe and the race of man. Of this, however, there is no intimation in Scripture. His first appearance in the sacred history is in the character of an apostate angel. That there is one fallen angel exalted in rank and power above all his associates is clearly taught in the Bible. He is called Satan (the adversary), diabolos, the traducer, ho poneros, he evil one; the prince of the power of the air; the prince of darkness; the God of this world; Beelzebub; Belial the tempter; the old serpent, and the dragon. These, and similar titles set him forth as the great enemy of God and man, the opposer of all that is good and the promoter of all that is evil. He is so constantly represented as a personal being, that the rationalistic notion that he is only a personification of evil, is irreconcilable with the authority of Scripture and inconsistent with the faith of the Church. The opinion that the doctrine of Satan was introduced among the Hebrews after the Exile, and from a heathen source, is no less contrary to the plain teachings of the Bible. He is represented as the tempter of our first parents, and is distinctly mentioned in the book of Job written long before the Babylonish captivity. Besides this representation of Satan in general terms as the enemy of God, he is specially set forth in Scripture, as the head of the kingdom of darkness, which embraces all evil beings. Man by his apostasy fell under the dominion of Satan, and his salvation consists in his being translated from Satan's kingdom into the kingdom of God's dear Son. That the daimonia who are represented as subject to Satan, are not the spirits of wicked men who have departed this life, as some have maintained, is clear. (1.) Because they are distinguished from the elect angels. (2.) From its being said that they kept not their first state (Jude 6). (3.) From the language of 2 Pet. ii 4. where it is said God spared not the angels that sinned. (4.) From the application to them of the titles "principalities" and "powers," which are appropriate only to beings belonging to the order of angels.

Hodge v 1 p 643

Deconstructing "This Is Why I'm Hot"

I'm not really convinced that rap is music ... but I found this on the Opinion Journal today and I pass it on to you:

Hot Hot Heat: A graphical dissertation on the number one song in America


The most amazing line in "This Is Why I'm Hot"—and, even at this early a juncture, quite possibly the most amazing line of any song to see release in 2007—is "I'm hot 'cause I'm fly/You ain't 'cause you not." Brutal and unassailable in its simplicity. Consider the reasoning, first, of just "I'm hot 'cause I'm fly": Mims is hot because he's fly. But it raises the question: Does being hot guarantee one's being fly?

Saving the planet one square at a time

I like Cheryl Crow's music enough that I sent my Sister a Cheryl Crow CD for her birthday this month. But please Cheryl, stick to the music. I'm sick of yet another celebrity having a bone-head, hypocritical idea to save the planet.

Here's her idea: use less toilet paper! "I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting." (Reminiscent of a Seinfeld episode: "I don't have a square to spare, I can't spare a square"!)

I'm all for shorter showers, fuller wash loads, not flushing bugs down the toilet (just dispatch them with a squish in a kleenex ... and throw the kleenex out! The extra drowning action in 1.5 gallons is completely unnecessary!).

The latest celebrity hypocrisy ... is Cheryl's: Save a square but drive around with three tractor trailers of equipment and three busses: Cheryl's travel needs


Sunday at Fourth

We are in the countdown to Pastor Doug McLachlan's final Sunday on May 20th. Today's messages were very good:

  1. AM from II Timothy 2:1-7
  2. PM from Philippians 4:1-4

The week ahead:

  1. We are going down to Mankato on Wednesday afternoon for Rachel's induction into an honor society.
  2. Thursday: We are taking our Pastor and his wife out to dinner
  3. Saturday: I volunteered to work the Spring BCP event (from 3 pm until 1:00 a.m. Sunday)

Studying the 1918 flu

How (and How Not) to Battle Flu: A Tale of 23 Cities

Scientists are still studying the 1918 pandemic, the deadliest of the 20th century, looking for lessons for future outbreaks — including the possibility that H5N1, the avian influenza virus, could mutate into a form spread easily from human to human. This month, researchers published two new studies in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences comparing public-health responses in cities like St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Using mathematical models, they reported that such large differences in death rates could be explained by the ways the cities carried out prevention measures, especially in their timing. Cities that instituted quarantine, school closings, bans on public gatherings and other such procedures early in the epidemic had peak death rates 30 percent to 50 percent lower than those that did not.

Comment: Of interest to me because my Father was born in 1918. He survived this flu, as did Kathee's parents (Mother b. in 1917, Father b. 1913)

Greg Mankiw's Blog

An interesting blog on Economics:

Greg Mankiw's Blog: Random Observations for Students of Economics

Consider, The Optimal Taxation of Height from 4/17/2007. This article was highlighted in the NYTimes today: Why Not Tax the Tall?


What do Holy Angels do?

The Scriptures teach that the holy angels are employed, (1.) In the worship of God. (2.) In executing the will of God. (3.) And especially in ministering to the heirs of salvation. They are represented as surrounding Christ, and as ever ready to perform any service in the advancement of his kingdom that may be assigned to them. Under the Old Testament they repeatedly appeared to the servants of God to reveal to them his will. They smote the Egyptians; were employed in the giving of the law at Mount Sinai; attended the Israelites during their journey; destroyed their enemies; and encamped around the people of God as a defence in hours of danger. They predicted and celebrated the birth of Christ (Matt. i. 20; Luke i. ii); they ministered to Him in his temptation and sufferings (Matt. iv. 11; Luke xxii. 43); and they announced his resurrection and ascension (Matt. xxviii. 2: John xx. 12; Acts i. 10, 11). They are still ministering spirits to believers (Heb. i. 14); they delivered Peter from prison; they watch over children (Matt. xviii. 10); they bear the souls of the departed to Abraham's bosom (Luke xvi. 22); they are to attend Christ at his second coming, and gather his people into his kingdom (Matt. xiii. 39; xvi. 27; xxiv. 31). Such are the general statements of the Scriptures on this subject, and with these we should be content. We know that they are the messengers of God; that they are now and ever have been employed in executing his commissions, but further than this nothing is positively revealed. Whether each individual believer has a guardian angel is not declared with any clearness in the Bible. The expression used in Matt. xviii. 10, in reference to the little children, "whose angels" are said to behold the face of God in heaven, is understood by many to favour this assumption.

Hodge v 1 p 639

Saturday activities

  1. Rachel was home yesterday and she and Kathee went to the Fourth Baptist ladies' Spring event
  2. We had the annual yard cleanup today
  3. Tractor conversion (remove snow plow / add mower deck) was yesterday.
  4. Greening up / leafing out / yard is waking up
  5. Both boys here for dinner. Kathee made pasta casserole.

Tomorrow: Worship at Fourth Baptist

Gun-free zones are recipe for disaster

Nugent: Gun-free zones are recipe for disaster


Evil is as evil does, and laws disarming guaranteed victims make evil people very, very happy. Shame on us.

Already spineless gun control advocates are squawking like chickens with their tiny-brained heads chopped off, making political hay over this most recent, devastating Virginia Tech massacre, when in fact it is their own forced gun-free zone policy that enabled the unchallenged methodical murder of 32 people.

Thirty-two people dead on a U.S. college campus pursuing their American Dream, mowed-down over an extended period of time by a lone, non-American gunman in possession of a firearm on campus in defiance of a zero-tolerance gun ban. Feel better yet? Didn't think so.

Comment: A good read.

Will the Supremes consider the 2nd Amendment?

Guns, Politics and the Law: The Second Amendment may finally get its day in court.


But over the past decade and a half, evidence of another sort has been accumulating. Violent-crime rates peaked in 1991, according to the Justice Department, and have fallen steeply since. Over the same period, gun-control laws in many states have been relaxed. Correlation does not equal causation, but it does make it difficult to argue that greater legal access to guns drives up levels of violent crime.

Whether concealed-carry laws and the like have held down crime rates remains a hotly debated subject. Certainly, more aggressive and effective policing, especially in big cities, has been a major force in driving down crime. One irony of this is that law-enforcement types have long been a major pro-gun-control force, even though it would seem that how their job is defined and performed has much more to do with crime levels than whether guns are available legally.


I hope the Supreme Court finally considers on what the Second Amendment means


The Devil made me do it

Pyromaniacs: All that is in the world...

A good read on the role of Satan in the life of a believer. Can we blame him when we sin?

As an aside, "Pyromaniacs" has the best graphics in the blogsphere!


Kathee's birthday

Wow ... God gave me a good wife! Trust me I didn't deserve as good as I got!

Here's some great things about my wife:

  1. She truly loves the Lord Jesus Christ. She motivates me to live the Christian life.
  2. She is brilliant. She graduated with a degree in math from Florida State with all A's and 1 B. (My daughter received her brains ... too bad she got my looks!)
  3. She is a great cook:

    1. Pies: banana cream, chocolate cream, apple pie, pumpkin, etc
    2. All kinds of various chilies and stews
    3. All kinds of varieties of meats and meat dishes.
    4. She has about 5 different potato salad recipes.
    5. I could go on ... but I'm making myself hungry

  4. She is one hard worker. Since I have been handicapped for 20 years, she does all of the heavy work around the house (that my son doesn't do). Carrying, lifting, changing, fixing. She once fixed the horn on my VW bug and replaced the driver's side seat (that was not easy work)
  5. She is an officer in a Christian organization and an officer of the bank. Pretty impressive!
  6. She is a fantastic Mother to our children
  7. She is genuinely FUN to be with.

I sing her praises and I praise my God for giving me her. "He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing! (Proverbs 18:22)

Tonight we are going out to dinner to celebrate her special day!

Dinner was at Claddagh's in Maple Grove
Dave and Colleen (Kathee's brother and sister-in-law) just back from Florida yesterday. We have not seen them for almost 4 months. They lingered at the house over coffee after dinner.

Good news from Allstate - have agreed to replace the entire roof.

We know where they stand ....

Reaction to today's Supreme Court decision: the justices upheld a nationwide ban on a specific abortion method - labeled partial-birth abortion

HILLARY: 'Erosion of our constitutional rights'...

GIULIANI: 'I agree with it'...

OBAMA: 'I strongly disagree'...

ROMNEY: 'A step forward'...

MCCAIN: I'm very happy...

EDWARDS: 'I could not disagree more strongly'...

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (Public Law 108-105, HR 760, S 3)

Comment: We live in what the previous Pope called a "culture of death". Jesus called the Devil "a murderer from the beginning" and the father of lies (John 8:44). The juxtaposition of the events of this week is so striking that one would have to be blind and deaf to miss the obvious: We live in a culture where life and truth are held in low regard.

paleoevangelical: "Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing [guns in classrooms]."

paleoevangelical: "Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing [guns in classrooms]."

More on gun control debate and whether the so-called "gun free zones" mean anything.

'Gun-Free Zones'


The bucolic campus of Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va., would seem to have little in common with the Trolley Square shopping mall in Salt Lake City. Yet both share an important characteristic, common to the site of almost every other notorious mass murder in recent years: They are "gun-free zones."

Forty American states now have "shall issue" or similar laws, by which officials issue a pistol carry permit upon request to any adult who passes a background check and (in most states) a safety class. Research by Carlisle Moody of the College of William and Mary, and others, suggests that these laws provide law-abiding citizens some protection against violent crime. But in many states there are certain places, especially schools, set aside as off-limits for guns. In Virginia, universities aren't "gun-free zones" by statute, but college officials are allowed to impose anti-gun rules. The result is that mass murderers know where they can commit their crimes.

Jesus = "Persona non grata"

VIRGINIA TECH MASSACRE: University convocation told of Allah, not Jesus; Speakers also invoke Buddha, Dalai Lama


Speakers at the Virginia Tech convocation called on Allah and Buddha in their efforts to minister to the survivors, family and friends of victims of the shooting massacre at the school – but Jesus wasn't mentioned by name.

  1. 1st Speaker: A Muslim cleric invoking the name of Allah and quoting the Quran.
  2. 2nd Speaker: A Buddhist Community Leader preaching that mankind is basically 'good.'
  3. 3rd Speaker: A Female speaker from the Jewish Community quoting Ecclesiastes: 'There is a time for everything.'
  4. 4th Speaker: A Liberal Lutheran Minister talking about 'healing,' etc. and how everyone needs to come together (blah, blah, blah…).


Persona non grata = meaning "an unwelcome person"

Comment: Why is the name of Christ offensive? Because of His claims (John 14:6), because of His cross, and because of the Gospel. Who the world needs most ... the world most readily rejects and ignores!

  1. Romans 9:33, "As it is written: “ Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”"
  2. Galatians 5:11, "And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased."

Are you ashamed of that name? Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek."

Is the Lord and Savior "Persona non grata" in your heart and life?

He still offers comfort and rest to the weary sinner: John 14:1 & Matthew 11:28-29

He still calls out for fellowship: Revelation 3:19-22


The World From Our Window: Statement From Pastor In Blacksburg, Virginia

The World From Our Window: Statement From Pastor In Blacksburg, Virginia

I trust that all my friends would pray for this situation. The human toll is beyond my comprehension!

Angels - their state

Gustave Dore, "The Three Visitors", Genesis 18:1-14

As to the state of the angels, it is clearly taught that they were all originally holy. It is also plainly to be inferred from the statements of the Bible that they were subjected to a period of probation, and that some kept and some did not keep their first estate. Those who maintained their integrity are represented as confirmed in a state of holiness and glory. This condition, although one of complete security, is one of perfect liberty; for the most absolute freedom in action is, according to the Bible, consistent with absolute certainty as to the character of that action. These holy angels are evidently not all of the same rank. This appears from the terms by which they are designated; terms which imply diversity of order and authority. Some are princes, others potentates, others rulers of the world. Beyond this the Scriptures reveal nothing, and the speculations of schoolmen and theologians as to the hierarchy of the angelic hosts, have neither authority nor value.

Hodge v 1 p. 639

  1. Day 4 of a cold. It started Friday night after dinner. I missed church on Sunday and really was low all day. I stayed home from work yesterday. Today back to work and wish I would have stayed home.
  2. We are taking tomorrow off to celebrate Kathee's birthday
  3. Tomorrow is decision day for Allstate (insurance adjuster) and Westurn roofing. I know I have hail damage but will Allstate pay a claim for a new roof? Or less? I know my posture: if less than a replacement I am going to appeal. Stay tuned.
  4. Work: my desktop upgrade job finally passed UAT (user acceptance testing) for my major business partner. Another major group has a different upgrade job and that is still in UAT.
  5. Kathee's brother is too arrive back from Florida today or tomorrow. We may see them tomorrow.
  6. Good Wells Fargo news: Several U.S. regional banks reported weak earnings on Tuesday amid struggles with interest-rate pressures and rising loan losses, including those from mortgages. Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC - News), the fifth-largest U.S. bank, bucked the trend, boosting profit 11 percent despite its large exposure.

Gun Stops Gunman

Same state, different school, different outcome (Wednesday, January 16, 2002 ).

Gun Stops Gunman


There was a shooting Wednesday at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. Peter Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria who'd flunked out of school allegedly went on a rampage and killed a dean, a professor and a fellow student with a .380-caliber pistol. Three other students were injured.

But the presence of another gun on campus almost certainly saved lives. MSNBC reports:

Students ended the rampage by confronting and then tackling the gunman, officials said.

"We saw the shooter, stopped at my vehicle and got out my handgun and started to approach Peter," Tracy Bridges, who helped subdue the shooter with other students, said Thursday on NBC's "Today" show. "At that time, Peter threw up his hands and threw his weapon down. Ted was the first person to have contact with Peter, and Peter hit him one time in the face, so there was a little bit of a struggle there."

Blaming Charlton Heston

Who's fault is it?

  1. "lax" gun laws?
  2. Lax security?
  3. N.R.A.?
  4. Foreign student?
  5. The administration did not lock down the campus?

We can wonder away about the Virginia Tech tragedy! But the answer lies in the wickedness of man and the age-old "problem of evil". The posting title - "Blaming Charlton Heston" - comes from this Blaming Charlton Heston.


In the strongest editorialized image of the day, German cable news broadcaster NTV flashed an image of the former head of the National Rifle Association, the US gun lobby: In other words, blame rifle-wielding Charlton Heston for the 33 dead.


If we had more of that "Charlton Heston" of The Ten Commandments - by this I mean real values-based education, students would have a higher regard for human life!

For a thoughtful, contrarian view on the gun control debate: How to prevent next massacre.


Two tax articles

Democrats and the AMT


This year more than three million taxpayers will be hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax on their 2006 income. But next year that number could rise to 23 million unless Democrats in Congress come up with a way to halt the juggernaut that is the AMT. The fixes that have been put in place the past few years have expired, and if nothing is done nearly one in five filers will be caught short by a tax that was created in 1969 to target 21--yes, 21--millionaires who had managed to avoid paying any taxes at all.

Comment: A tax designed to close the loophole on just 21 tax payers ... now set to catch 23 million! For a good read: The Fair Tax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS

Case Closed - Tax cuts mean growth


The richest 1% of Americans now pays 35% of all income taxes. The top 10% pay more taxes than the bottom 60%.

Now, as before, politicians are itching to fund their pet projects with the short-term revenue increases that come from tax hikes, ignoring the long-term pain they always cause. Unfortunately, the tax cuts that have produced our record-breaking government revenues and personal incomes will expire soon. Because Congress has failed to make them permanent, we are facing the worst tax hike in our history. Already, worried investors are trying to figure out what the financial landscape will look like in 2011 and beyond.

Comment: I've made peace with my taxes. I just pay them and don't complain. But it's a fact that this country needs tax reform! I'm not optimistic! Check out Fairtax.org and select "compare the fair tax to income tax".

Angels - their nature

As to the nature of angels, they are described, (1.) As pure spirits, i.e., immaterial and incorporeal beings. The Scriptures do not attribute bodies of any kind to them. On the assumption that spirit unconnected with matter cannot act out of itself, that it can neither communicate with other spirits nor operate on the external world, it was maintained by many, and so decided in the council held at Nice, A.D. 784, that angels had bodies composed of ether or light; an opinion which was thought to be favoured by such passages as Matt. xxviii. 8, Luke ii. 9, and other passages in which their luminous appearance and the glory attending ther presence are spoken of. The Council of Lateran, A.D. 1215, decided that they were incorporeal, and this has been the common opinion in the Church. They are declared to be "substantiæ spirituales, omnis corporeæ molis expertes." As such, therefore, they are invisible, incorruptible, and immortal. Their relation to space is described as an illocalitas; not ubiquity or omnipresence, as they are always somewhere and not everywhere at any given moment, but they are not confined to space circumscriptively as bodies are, and can move from one portion of space to another. As spirits they are possessed of intelligence, will, and power. With regard to their knowledge, whether as to its modes or objects, nothing special is revealed. All that is clear is that in their intellectual faculties and in the extent of their knowledge they are far superior to man. Their power also is very great, and extends over mind and matter. They have the power to communicate one with another and with other minds, and to produce effects in the natural world. The greatness of their power is manifest, (a.) From the names and titles given to them, as principalities, powers, dominions, and world-rulers. (b.) From the direct assertions of Scripture, as they are said to "excel in strength;" and (c.) From the effects attributed to their agency. However great their power may be, it is nevertheless subject to all the limitations which belong to creatures. Angels, therefore, cannot create, they cannot change substances, they cannot alter the laws of nature, they cannot perform miracles, they cannot act without means, and they cannot search the heart; for all these are, in Scripture, declared to be prerogatives peculiar to God. The power of angels is, therefore, (1.) Dependent and derived. (2.) It must be exercised in accordance with the laws of the material and spiritual world. (3.) Their intervention is not optional, but permitted or commanded by God, and at his pleasure, and, so far as the external world is concerned, it would seem to be only occasional and exceptional. These limitations are of the greatest practical importance. We are not to regard angels as intervening between us and God, or to attribute to them the effects which the Bible everywhere refers to the providential agency of God.

Hodge v 1 p. 637-638


An early review of Handel’s Messiah

It was ...

“tooty tutti”

Comment: I'm not sure what this meant, but I'm sure it was not a compliment!

Read the full article. It's interesting:
On today’s date, two hundred sixty five years ago in Dublin, Ireland, George Frederic Handel’s Messiah enjoyed its world premier

“All music was once new”

George Frideric Handel

Handel's Messiah

If the jeans don't fit ... blame it on the genes!

'Fat' gene found by scientists


A gene that contributes to obesity has been identified for the first time, promising to explain why some people easily put on weight while others with similar lifestyles stay slim.

People who inherit one version of the gene rather than another are 70 per cent more likely to be obese, British scientists have discovered. One in six people has the most vulnerable genetic make-up and weighs an average 3kg more than those with the lowest risk. They also have 15 per cent more body fat.

Comments (sarcasm alert!):

  1. Where did they find that really disgusting picture? Did someone pose for this? What a weird camera angle! (if you want to get grossed out ... Google "obese people" on Google images!) I spared you!

  2. Here's another question: when they show obese people (normally either their huge bellies or back ends) on TV (like whenever the news reports on obesity), do these people need to sign a "release form"? ... Do they receive royalties?

  3. I ask because perhaps I can sign on for this and have my picture taken and receive royalty checks for life! This by the way is shorter for the obese!

  4. For me, I blame it on my upbringing, my Mother (who obviously overfed me ... if you could only see my baby pictures!), my wife, my children (who have brought so much stress into my life!), my boss (stress again!), and now my jeans (which are too tight) ... er my genes which are defective!

The Imus lynch party

Pat Buchanan: The Imus lynch party

Comment (for the record):

  1. I do think that Imus should have been fired because ...
  2. If I used language at work like he used on the air, I would be fired in less than an hour ... and
  3. I felt it robbed the Rutgers women's basketball women some of the honor due them, and the dignity that every person should be afforded.
  4. It is also obvious that there is a lot of hypocrisy in the way filthy talk is regarded in our culture. Imus did not get a pass (and he should not have) but others do (detailed Buchanan's commentary).
  5. I hope all read!


While the remarks of Imus and Bernie about the Rutgers women were indefensible, they were more unthinking and stupid than vicious and malicious. But malice is the right word to describe the howls for their show to be canceled and them to be driven from the airwaves – by phonies who endlessly prattle about the First Amendment.

The hypocrisy here was too thick to cut with a chainsaw.

What was the term the I-Man used? It was "hos," slang for whores, a term employed ad infinitum et ad nauseam by rap and hip-hop "artists." It is a term out of the African-American community. Yet, if any of a hundred rap singers has lost his contract or been driven from the airwaves for using it, maybe someone can tell me about it.

If the word "hos" is a filthy insult to decent black women, and it is, why are hip-hop artists and rap singers who use it incessantly not pariahs in the black community? Why would black politicians hobnob with them? Why are there no boycotts of the advertisers of the radio stations that play their degrading music?



So much is said in the Scriptures of good and evil angels, and such important functions are ascribed to them both in the providence of God over the world, and especially in the experience of his people and of his Church, that the doctrine of the Bible concerning them should not be overlooked. That there are intelligent creatures higher than man, has been a general belief. It is so consonant with the analogy of nature as to be in the highest degree probable, apart from any direct revelation on the subject. In all departments of nature there is a regular gradation from the lower to the higher forms of life; from the almost invisible vegetable fungus in plants to the cedar of Lebanon; from the minutest animalcule to the gigantic mammoth. In man we meet with the first, and to all appearances the lowest of rational creatures. That he should be the only creature of his order is, à priori, as improbable as that insects should be the only class of irrational animals. There is every reason to presume that the scale of being among rational creatures is as extensive as that in the animal world. The modern philosophy which deifies man leaves no room for any order of beings above him. But if the distance between God and man be infinite, all analogy would prove that the orders of rational creatures between us and God must be inconceivably numerous. As this is in itself probable, it is clearly revealed in the Bible to be true.

Hodge v 1 p. 637

  1. Kathee is at a ladies' fellowship meeting tonight
  2. This week I have dealt with the dreaded BSOD issue on about 100 workstations. It is not a Microsoft issue, but another (unnamed on this blog) vendor
  3. Roger is at USMC reserves tonight through Sunday. They are going to Camp Ripley in Little Falls. Roger just has this month and then May and he will have completed his six year commitment to the Marines. Of those six years, he has been on active duty for 2 1/2 including 7 months in Iraq. We are glad for him to be finished!
  4. I had coffee with my friend Scott today.

Religious double standard?

Is college using a double standard on 'entanglement' with religion?


[Minneapolis Community and Technical College] is planning to install facilities for Muslims to use in preparing for daily prayers, an apparent first at a public institution in Minnesota ...So the college is making plans to use taxpayer funds to install facilities for ritual foot-washing.

t's hard to imagine the college researching and paying for special modifications to the college to facilitate Christian rituals. And the "safety" justification? Imagine if a particularly strict group of Christian students found it necessary to sometimes baptize others in the restroom sinks. Would the school build them a baptism basin because a student hit his head on a sink?

George Will: Fuzzy climate math

Fuzzy climate math


The Prius hybrid is, of course, fuel-efficient. There are, however, environmental costs to mining and smelting (in Canada) 1,000 tons a year of zinc for the battery-powered second motor, and the shipping of the zinc 10,000 miles — trailing a cloud of carbon dioxide — to Wales for refining and then to China for turning it into the component that is then sent to a battery factory in Japan.

Opinions differ as to whether acid rain from the Canadian mining and smelting operation is killing vegetation that once absorbed carbon dioxide. But a report from CNW Marketing Research ("Dust to Dust: The Energy Cost of New Vehicles from Concept to Disposal") concludes that in "dollars per lifetime mile," a Prius (expected life: 109,000 miles) costs $3.25, compared with $1.95 for a Hummer H3 (expected life: 207,000 miles).

The CNW report states that a hybrid makes economic and environmental sense for a purchaser living in the Los Angeles basin, where fuel costs are high and smog is worrisome. But environmental costs of the hybrid are exported from the basin.

Comment: I don't see myself ever buying an SUV (the Hummer H3!). I'm actually pretty impressed with the Prius. Dave P. at church has one and is impressed with it. But until they perfect the hybrid battery so that it has a lifetime of 200,000 miles, I probably won't buy one. Here's the link to the study: CNW's 'Dust to Dust' Automotive Energy Report. Be sure to scroll down to the attachments. I read these two and they are very interesting: "Why 100,000 miles for the Prius" & "DUST PDF VERSION".


Decrying Filthy Talk!

Trash Talk Radio

Op-Ed Contributor
Trash Talk Radio
Published: April 10, 2007
Don Imus’s comments about the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University were no surprise. But they were a new low.

NCAA, Rutgers women's coach blast Imus Talk show host apologizes for calling NCAA runners-up 'nappy-headed hos'

Comments: I deplore racist degrading talk like this! Understanding that every human being is created in the likeness of God demands that Christians stand opposed to this Neanderthal, meathead, and God-dishonoring talk!

James 3 has instructions about language that honors and dishonors Christ

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

Christians must (in our salt function) decry and condemn such talk! (If I called a coworker what Imus called these young ladies ... I would be fired! No second chance.). He should be fired and I hope that he is! (For the record - I've never watched or listened to Don Imus and I never will!)

GM, AmEx also pulling ads from Imus show

Don Imus show loses more advertisers

Advertisers taking a stand by dropping ads from his program:

American Express
Procter & Gamble

Motley Fool: Bank on Wells Fargo

Foolish Forecast: Bank on Wells Fargo


Banking behemoth Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) will report Q1 2007 financial results next Tuesday. Here's what to expect. Analysts expect earnings to grow to $0.65 per share, up 8.3% from last year's first quarter.

Comment: It shouldn't surprise Cold Fusion Guy readers that I have shares in Wells Fargo. We've found it a solid investment. Caveat: It is important to diversify (not put all of one's financial egges in one basket!)

Elizabeth's "scary" neighbor

Elizabeth gripes; neighbor is famous


But apparently, you're nobody until Elizabeth Edwards dislikes you.

The Orange County Republicans sent out a release denouncing Edwards' remarks. Newspapers from as far as Ireland have picked up the story. On Tuesday, "Inside Edition" sent a film crew to his single-wide trailer in rural Orange County that sits near the Edwards' $6 million, 29,000-square-foot estate.

Johnson didn't rebut Edwards' comments. He's a proud member of the Grand Old Party and owns a 9 mm handgun he said he's not afraid to use.

What got his goat, he says, was Edwards' calling his 42-acre property "slummy."

Comment: Monty looks like a "good old boy" ... as a matter of fact not a lot different than me! (I have him by 2 years ... but he owns 42 acres next to Elizabeth Edwards)

Leadership is often by nature unpopular

McCain's Finest Hour - Leadership sometimes means bucking public opinion


Answered Mr. McCain: "I disagree with what the majority of the American people want. I still believe the majority of the American people, when asked, say if you can show them a path to success . . . then they'll support it." Later Mr. Pelley observed that Mr. McCain was betting his entire campaign on the success of the current "surge" strategy in Baghdad. The Senator replied that he'd "rather lose a campaign than lose a war."

Comment: This is what I like about John McCain: he provides principled leadership in the public discourse about the war.


Gutsy Brit!

Faye's blast at squirming tyrant

As Faye stood in front of bearded Ahmadinejad he asked her through a translator: “How is your daughter?”

Faye fumed in response: “I don’t know, Mr President, I haven’t seen her for 13 days — remember?”

The Islamic fanatic stuttered: “Oh yes. But haven’t you been allowed a phone call to her?”

Faye replied: “No I most certainly have not”.

Comment: Faye, your courage is inspiring!

The Soul of the Embryo

What Becomes You - The Soul of the Embryo

A book review of The Soul of the Embryo: An Enquiry into the Status of the Human Embryo in the Christian Tradition, by David Albert Jones


Thankfully, in The Soul of the Embryo, David Albert Jones corrects such misrepresentations with a well-documented, definitive account of Christian tradition from the early Church to the twenty-first century. In a clear, irenic style, Jones, a Dominican theologian who directed the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics in London and now teaches bioethics at the University of Surrey, shows that for two millennia Christians consistently “repudiated abortion at any stage of pregnancy.”

Starting with Jewish and pagan antiquity, Jones shows that in the Old Testament, the embryo was “the subject of God’s invisible informing activity,” the chosen one being called from and molded in the womb. No surprise, then, that the Jews considered deliberate abortion a grave sin against God and nature.

The first Christian text on abortion is in the Didache (first century), which states, “You shall not kill a child by abortion nor kill it after it is born.” The same teaching is found in other works of the second to the fourth centuries, including apocalyptic texts where people face their aborted children at the Judgment. In the fifth century, John Chrysostom calls abortion “something even worse than murder” because it involves killing one’s own flesh and blood.


Jones calls it reasonable to define a human being as “an individual living being of the species Homo sapiens.” The embryo is “clearly a living being, is an individual and is human.” From fertilization, a “complete whole” is developing, not a part of a whole. It is, in other words, a person with a person’s full rights.

Comment: If you have wondered (as most of us have) about the “ensoulment” of the embryo and the true beginning of the human soul, I recommend this book review (I haven't read the book) to you!