The Eve of the New Year

Blogging will resume after the holiday weekend. Happy New Year!


Prophetic: "One-Man Global Content Provider"

Journalist and cultural commentator Mark Steyn chats about the West, America, Europe, and Islam ... not a boring second in this exchange.


Ashton Kutcher Channels Glenn Beck

Now that's a revelation: The actor airs his concerns about the end times.

Given that it's Ashton, I wonder if we are being punk'd?

On the other hand, Demi's third hubby's point about modern people, especially in the cities, being overly dependent on electronic amenities and personal concierges (read: government services), as opposed to being self-reliant, is well taken. The mess in NYC, due to the blizzard, is one pertinent example.

Where There's (God's) Will, There's a Way

In the fourth quarter of this football season, Tim Tebow's QB career, with the Denver Broncos, is taking off, despite the naysaying. He has also found a new way keep the Word close to his heart, now that he can't mark his eye black.

Keep silencing the critics, with your actions, TT.

And the top selling jersey belongs to ___________.


Esteban's Christmas 'Candy Cane'

Heard the one about the Miami guy, arriving from Colombia, who hid the cocaine in the multi-colored Easter eggs?

It's like a cliche, or a scene from a Coen brothers film. Except that that scenario really happened at LAX.

Esteban Galtes had the nerve to claim the "candy" was for his two children. Some dad.

Here's the short story with a photo of the stash (excerpt shown).

Fourteen lbs of coke translates into $100,000 translates into life in prison.

Good catch, ICE.

"Hold my feet to the fire"

On Congressman-elect Benishek's docket: Earmarks, natural resources, and being held accountable. I like it!

Here's more about Bart Stupak's replacement as he begins to ease his way into Washington, D.C. Dr. Dan's freshman orientation snapshots are here. He's a long way from the UP. Now he has to watch out for the two-legged predators instead of the four-legged critters.

In the photo: The Doc, with Herman Cain, former CEO of Domino's Pizza and motivational speaker, at Petoskey High School (MI) this past Halloween. Mr. Cain came to campaign for (then) Candidate Benishek.

(But Mr. Cain didn't bring any pizzas. Humph.)


The Gospel, According to Luke

A touching article about the doctor who had one of the world's most enviable tasks - writing, in some detail, about the birth of Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. Blogging will resume after the holiday weekend.

He is coming! Tonight!

Home for the Holidays

I've had a fun week traveling on-the-road enjoying middle American pleasures. Discovered a nifty cross-stitch shop in Alpena, Michigan (Stitches N' Blooms) which sells Mill Hill patterns; swam laps twice at a delightful LA Fitness pool in York, PA.; found a cheap chick novel at a Borders (Lisa Scottoline thriller); stayed at a state-of-the-art Motel 6 in Youngstown, Ohio; ate a plate of crab stuffed mushrooms at Red Lobster; and drank a few ice coffees at Dunkin' Donuts. All that was missing was catching Jeff Bridges in the remake of Tron or True Grit.

I know I sound like a commercial for crass consumerism and indulgence-of-self, but all these visits are extra-special treats when you live off-the-beaten path vs. mainstream-mall-America.

Now I'm heading back home to enjoy a quiet Christmas in the north country where the pine trees, frozen lakes, fierce hawks, and graceful deer are abundant. (God's treats for the eyes and soul.) Fish ... not as much as you might think ... but that's fodder for another blog entry.


His Big Fat Northeastern Commencement

This jock-turned-communicator-turned-campus-minister, who is a close relative and who was homeschooled from K-12, graduated from York College yesterday. Six years of classes (almost every course under the sun except for engineering and feminist studies); five varsity sports (basketball, track, soccer, volleyball, and cross-country); four different colleges; three silly mascots; two years off to work (a Chili's, a furniture warehouse, basketball camps); and a partridge in a pear tree (volunteer gig at a children's pediatric center).

Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, if anyone is in need of a winsome young mouthpiece with some interesting life experiences.

Way to go, Junior! Beautiful cake, Whitney!


Mammon Above All

Guest blog from Howling Hurricane: "America's ... reduction of life to economics and appetite gratification has increasingly disturbed me for years ..." When I read that line in the introduction to the book Economism and the National Prospect by John Attarian, I knew I was going to enjoy reading further. And I did. In addition, I learned how to put that disturbing thought into words - Attarian's words.

First word - economism: the world view that insists that only economies matter, and, in the process of being fleshed out in policy and practice, dehumanize people into economic units. This view, Attarian argues, can and will destroy America, unless we turn from it soon.

Second word - economites: adherents to this world view, who, unfortunately, dominate today's political, cultural, educational, civic, and even religious landscapes.

The over-arching and recurring themes of the book are right-on, and highlight economism's shortcomings and dangers. Two themes which got my attention were 1)Men and women are multidimensional and should be treated that way, with attention given to their hearts, souls, minds, and spirits; and 2) Because economism requires a constant supply of cheaper and cheaper labor, illegal immigration will remain a sad reality, and the number of its victims will continue to grow.

If the current economic picture of our nation makes you uncomfortable, please read this book and begin to explain to economites, you encounter, the error of their ways.

TCC note: More about this compact tome, which is almost as lifechanging as Bastiat's The Law, here. Sadly, author Attarian passed away at the young age of 48.

The 5'7" Dynamo in the NFL

Danny be nimble. Danny be quick. Danny's tenacity helps the Patriots click.

Mr. Woodhead was homeschooled until the 9th grade. He went on to play at Chadron State, a college in Nebraska. He was also the two-time winner of the Harlon Hill trophy, the Heisman of the NCAA D-II division. These days, he's getting plenty of love from fans in New England. Watch the video. It's funny.

Speaking of hyper-competitive homeschoolers: Tebow's maiden voyage went well, although his Broncos didn't win. Update: He even set a record!


The Magic of Animation

Now is the time for all good men and women to click their way through an interactive Christmas card.

Try Ashland College's holiday greeting. Charming! Cheery!

H/T Teri Beri

Sunday Inspiration: Shane Niemeyer

Who ever goes from being a down-and-out inmate to becoming an elite Hawaii Ironman? One guy, at least. That'd be Shane Niemeyer, a personal trainer who lives in Colorado. In 2005, he was homeless, suicidal, and a county jail prisoner. But during that dark period, Shane came across an article about the internationally-known endurance competition and was inspired enough to change his thinking and lifestyle. (He says he was also "fat" and a drug abuser.) According to the Idaho Statesman, he had no background as a triathlete. But an inexpensive bike, a Gold's gym membership, and ganas* were his training tools.

Shane appears in the promo below for the Ironman, held in Kailua-Kona, (which aired on NBC yesterday) at the 40, 41 mark. What he accomplished on a hot, hot day this past October: A swim of 2.4 miles, a bike ride of 112 miles, a 26.2 marathon run, and a personal triumph over his past.

*desire, grit, oomph


Bo & the Gingerbread House of the Casa Blanca

Thoroughly over-the-top and unnecessary, but visually spectacular. Click on the photo.


Friday Fun: Wikileaks Humor

John P. passed along this pensée: "If our government really wants to keep our classified secrets ... secret, they should have them kept in the same place that Obama's college transcripts and birth certificate are kept."

Wisenheimer author unknown. Photo: The world's most famous Julian who has an overly-active - shall we say - social life. Ick. TMI.

Torts From Your Living Room

An attaboy! for Phil Maymin the prolific libertarian writer and finance professor and Harvard grad and jack-of-all-intellectual-trades. He recently passed the California bar exam which has been dubbed the "ironman" of law school tests. (It lasts 3 days.)

Phil received his J.D. from the Northwestern California University School of Law, an online program. That's right. Phil never set foot in a bricks-and-mortar school to study torts, contracts, property, etc., yet he still managed to become a lawyer. How cool is that?

Despite its overegulatory bent, California is the only state in the nation where one can study the law via distance learning (a 4-5 year commitment) and sit for the bar. Look at the difference in pricing, with this option, as explained by Anita Paulsson, a graduate of Oak Brook College of Law.

Concord is another online law school. Here's how they make the pitch to prospective legal beagles.


Brian Terry: Another Casualty of a Porous Border

A U.S. Border Patrol agent named Brian Terry (pictured) was killed in a firefight near the southern border (Arizona) earlier this week. The perps are being described as bandits who prey on illegal aliens.

Terry was 40 years old and a Marine who grew up in Wayne County, Michigan. He is survived by his parents and three siblings who were expecting him home for the holidays. Condolences to the family. It's going to be a very, very tough Christmas for these poor people.

Update: One of the individuals/illegal aliens apprehended - Manuel Arianes - has a record of arrest and prosecution in the United States.


For Real?

A reasonable person of a certain age would not pen this flaky screed.

But Jonathan Klate (pictured), a melodramatic acupuncturist from western Massachusetts, thrives on dispensing quacky, out-there opinions. In fact, he might have invented out-there.

And when it comes to playing the race card, he makes the Rev. Al Sharpton look like a rank amateur.

Here's what the Mr. Klate had to say about Bristol, and why she did so well on Dancing with the Stars: "Palin tried her best but her predominant advantage was majority skin color. That and a legion of zealous fans of her mother, a divisive politician from a state with a tiny African-American population where it is so easy to feel shocked - shocked - at the suggestion that white privilege might just possibly not have ended with the Civil War, and who loves to trumpet her anger at the mostly mythological chimera of reverse institutional racism."

Mythological chimera of reverse institutional racism? Whew!


Sunday Inspiration: St. Nate

Missionary Nate Saint (yes, that was his real name) was among those murdered in a remote rainforest in Ecuador by Auca Indians, on January 8, 1956, wielding wooden lances and machetes.

Nate (pictured) was also a pilot and a graduate of Wheaton College. The details of his martydom are here and here.

Some are familiar with his story via the movie or the book by Elisabeth Elliot, whose first husband, Jim Elliot, was also speared to death in the South American jungle. Also killed were Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian.

Nate was only 32 when he died, but this American Christian was wise for his age. In his words: "People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted."

His sacrifice and memory lives on via the Nate Saint House in Shell Mera, Ecuador which recently opened after undergoing a renovation. Attending the dedication ceremony was Gilberto Nequimo.

Pastor Nequimo's grandfather was one of the men who killed the missionaries.


Leah Miller: Killed by Drunk Illegal

The Denver Post reports that Cesar Acosta-Castillo (no connection to this blog), an illegal and a repeat offender, was sentenced to a dozen years in prison for causing the death of Leah Miller, a 45-year-old legal secretary who volunteered in a Meals on Wheels program.

Edward Miller, Leah's father, said his daughter "was just two minutes away from home when she was hit." The fatality occurred in 2009.

Ms. Miller, a single mom, had one teenaged son.

Belated condolences to the Millers.

To make matters worse, Colorado has just elected an illegal immigration apologist extraordinaire in extreme-growth advocate John Hickenlooper.

RIP Leah Rochelle Miller


The Best of Schools, The Worst of Schools

Culling the student evaluations found at "Rate My Professors," the Center for College Affordability and Productivity has come up with a pair of unique lists - colleges with the best professors and colleges with the worst professors.

HuffPo created a Big 12 list for both categories. Go here to see who has been naughty, go here to see who has been nice.

Note: Michigan and Minnesota have their work cut out for them.

Note: Three little-known Christians schools are doing a fine job hiring and retaining productive, caring employees.


Oh, Those Opinionated Valedictorians

My Belgrade News column.

It's about the Montana Supreme Court's recent 5-1 ruling that involved a Butte (MT) high school student named Renee Griffith. The Big Sky supremes decided (correctly, IMO) that her First Amendment rights were violated when she was not allowed to say "Christ and His joy" and "God" at a commencement speech.

I also mention, in the piece, the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg whose 1975 valedictory address, in Fitchburg, MA., caused a stir. Coincidentally, Mr. Sprigg went to high school with my hubby. Here is a well-written editorial about his speech.

Update: Another version of Renee's case who I learned is an undergrad at Evangel College in Missouri.


Ms. Herrera Goes to Washington From Washington

In case you missed this story, a former homeschooler was elected to Congress in November. Jaime Herrera (pictured) is a 32-year-old conservative, Hispanic woman who has worked as a legislative aide. Congresswoman-elect Herrera will be representing the great state of Washington (3rd district).

Her views on immigration won over this blogger.


Sunday Inspiration: The Diaper Drive

Whitney Kendall (pictured) is a junior, majoring in nursing, at York College in York, PA.

The student-athlete (lacrosse player) went on a missions trip to Uganda, this past summer, and volunteered at the Sanyu Babies' Home, an orphanage which houses up to 50 children.

She is planning to return to Sanyu in the near future, but, in the meantime, she is organizing a 5K Diaper Run in March 2011 in Olney, Maryland. Whitney wants to use the proceeds to purchase and send diapers for the little ones, she has grown so fond of, at the babies' home. In this article, she explains why the need for 'nappies' is so pressing.

(Here's her Facebook page.) Good on you, Whitney!


Silencing of the Canucks

In Canada, freedom of speech withers.