Sun. Inspiration: Created In His Image

My friend, Bonnie Doran, a Dean's list student at George Fox University, gave birth to her first child last month. It's a girl! Her name is Aftasie. According to the new mum, Aftasie is a "Greek name that means incorruptible."

This is a sweet, yet thoughtful, column about why God created babies. An excerpt: "The Bible says children are a 'heritage from the Lord.' In the agricultural economy of ancient Israel, children were compared to 'olive plants all around your table.' Also, they were compared to 'arrows in the hand of a warrior,' which is symbolic of strength."

Now here's the part where you oooohhh and aaaahhh. ... such a cutie pie.

Aftasie Vincenza Jean


John Stott: 1921-2011

A respected evangelical leader has passed away.

CBN reports: "He (Stott) influenced Christians worldwide through his preaching and writings. He authored 50 books during his lifetime.

Stott was ordained by the Church of England in 1945 and served at All Souls Church in London for more than 60 years.

His ministry spanned the globe with a variety of outreach programs."

As an undergrad (at Florida State), I remember cajoling my friend, Faith, to a lecture that Mr. Stott was giving at a church. What did he speak on? I have no recollection, but I do remember we were both charmed by his British accent and his unassuming manner. Over the years, I've used the Bible study guides he authored and never been disappointed with them.

On a personal note: John Stott was a birdwatcher who also lived the celibate life. Of the latter he said, "The gift of singleness is more a vocation than an empowerment, although to be sure God is faithful in supporting those He calls."

He was also a committed intercessor.


Book Housekeeping

File under: I never cease to be amazed at the schlock teenagers are required to read.

Dump Catcher in the Rye, too, Republic, MO school board.

Friday Fun: Let's Talk Turkey

I stalk ... ready to shoot ... her.

Click-snap. There she is ... Mama Gobble Gobble. (One of her poults was flapping near her.)

She gives me the eye.

Then vanishes into the wildflowers.


Americans Shunning Solitude, Homesteading

Gone South and West: 'The People' want steady work, warm weather, and (lots of) other people.

The Leader America Lacks

The economic gospel according to Mrs. Thatcher:

Below is clip of the forthcoming "The Iron Lady" movie starring Meryl Streep. Margaret Thatcher's son and daughter are not fans of the project.


Sacrilegious or Hilarious or Both?

Boggity, boggity, boggity alert: Even a casual observer of NASCAR's culture can't deny how perfect this pre-race invocation was ... although the Baptist pastor will now be viewed as a bonafide fundie fruitcake for pulling this stunt.

Here's Pastor Joe and his family (which he references in the prayer).

Dissidents on Display

My latest column for the Belgrade News is about BODIES...The Exhibition, that garish attraction that is being shown in various cities throughout the U.S.

I complain (although I'm hardly the first commentator to do so) about the business of doing business with Chinese communists to make a buck off the deceased ... go here.


Chattanooga's Target Rich Environment

A school board in Tennessee - Hamilton County - had a public discussion about whether to allow area homeschoolers to participate on public school sports teams.

One school board member offered the all-time-most-out-there reason to 'just say no' to the home scholars: "Board member Joe Galloway expressed uncertainties with the idea, in part because of his belief that any home-schoolers coming on to a public school team would be relatively unknown to public school coaches and administrators.

'What if a home-school athlete has a crazy uncle who shows up at the games and throws a scene?' Galloway asked.' "

Mr. Galloway's contact information is here.

Please note that Hamilton County Schools prides itself on the following: "a diverse school system committed to creating, fostering and supporting an environment that offers opportunities for success for all."

Joe "The Joke" Galloway

HT: B.D.

Like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory

We took Abuelita to Kilwin's, which sells high-quality chocolates and ice cream, for a little candy-making tour.

Lucy? Ethel?

That's more like it.

One of these men complained about the hair net (everybody is required to wear one during the tour) mussing up his moussed hairdo.

Nobody complained about the free samples.


Mr. Wonka approves this blog post.


Potter Mania: I Liked 'The End' of The End

My Miami-residing mom is in town and wanted to go to the movies, so we elected to go to the least offensive of the choices at the local cinema - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.

The other one being Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Wizards with wands beat out autobots-n-bimbo.

I've been out-of-the-loop about the 'Potter' franchise, so I was startled when I was handed this pair of glasses by the usher:

Oh, I get it. A 3-D movie. Duh.

This was my first time watching a full-length flick this way.

Honestly, I thought it'd be an uncomfortable experience. I wasn't looking forward to sitting in a dimly-light room, for two hours, wearing dark spectacles.

(And, guess what? Transformers is also 3-D.)

Truthfully, the special effects are spectacular, and the movie wasn't as 'dark,' (in more ways than one) as I anticipated.

Anyone else seen it, or thinking of going?

Sun. Inspiration: The Choice

The unbearably tragic events near Oslo are an unwelcome reminder of the mayhem that one deranged, evil individual can unleash upon many innocent individuals.

Today, on the Lord's Day, perhaps it's appropriate to ponder the reverse. Here's Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love, one man who earnestly tries to 'live simply so that others may simply live.'

My son likes this clip:

Francis has a blog.


Aerial Surveillance - At a Glance

My friend Carolyn Abbott has launched a blog to promote her company - Assist-U.S. Go here.


Backlash Against "cru"

Re Campus Crusade for Christ renaming: This effort at 'relevance' and 'rebranding' is causing the faithful to grumble. Go here and here, and read the comments.

Christianity Today explains that "Crusade" sounded too militant to Middle East sensibilities. I guess "Christ" did, also.

Friday Fun: Old-School Shoes

As a kid, I loved loafers and saddle shoes. As a kid-at-heart, I still do.

Bass sells both in their "American classics" collection.

What a Show: Atlanta Aquarium

Live cam.

Live Video streaming by Ustream


Relentlessly Nice ... & Principled

From the LC press release of July 18, a case of Viewpoint Discrimination:

"Liberty Counsel has filed a brief requesting summary judgment in the lawsuit Taylor v. Roswell against the Roswell Independent School District, for retaliating against a Christian group called Relentless in Roswell. The school punished and suspended members of the group for buying and giving fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts with Bible verses to each of their teachers. In the past these students have handed out sandwiches, hot chocolate, and candy canes to the student body and faculty. They helped staff with the trash and fellow students with their lunch trays and also distributed rocks with affirming words like 'U are wonderful' painted on one side and 'Psalm 139' on the other. However, the school has bullied and suspended students who were exercising their freedom of religion by distributing abstinence wristbands and plastic models of babies at 12 weeks gestation, bringing attention to the life of the unborn.

Relentless in Roswell expressed appreciation for their teachers by giving them doughnuts. Since the closest Krispy Kreme shop was in Texas, some of the group drove almost six hours round trip, stayed overnight, got up at 3:00 a.m. filled their car’s back seat with fresh doughnuts and got back to school on time to deliver the doughnuts. When the doughnuts were handed out, a scripture verse was included. One student was immediately sent home and two others were forced to spend a Saturday morning sitting alone in the classroom for four hours as a punishment."


File under: Comic relief

Larry Auster, an unflinching traditionalist, can get carried away analyzing an indiviudal's physical appearance.

For instance, here's what he wrote about the liberal Rep. Wasserman-Schultz: "Like her silly name 'Debbie,' her hairstyle is immature and inappropriate for a politician and congresswoman."

Style Network, have you got a spot for Fashionista Larry?

Meanwhile one of his male readers wrote this (with a straight face): "Here's a reason to support Michelle [sic] Bachmann (at least over Palin). Her children have good, old fashioned names instead of goofy, trendy names. Lucas, Harrison, Elisa, Caroline, and Sophia. A couple of them are even Christian names."

Mrs. Bachmann, Mrs. Palin, or Ms. Wasserman-Schultz's score on, say, a Freedom Index? Now that seems like a better indicator of their political character, for a federal position of prominence, than whether they nickname their son 'Puck' or whether they "rock" fake eyelashes.

P.S. I like Deb's hair. But not her politics.

On the other hand: Mr. Auster insightfully blogs about Campus Crusade for Christ, the national collegiate organization, rechristening itself as "cru." Cru? That name instantly brings to mind ... the Lord? Nope. More like the rowing sport or, maybe, the store.

Quirk Theory: Latebloomers & Social Misfits Rule

There is life after school (or why people who learn to like their own company often thrive).

From the Daily Mail: "Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos: ‘Being the outsider at school can be a positive thing. Most successful people aren’t followers, but free-thinking individuals who don’t worry too much about the approval of others or being seen as part of a group.’

In our ever conformist, celebrity-worshipping society, the innovation, courage and differences offered by the geeky sides of our personalities are vital to our culture and progress."



"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you . . . you may know that your society is doomed."

Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged

The Nuevo America, the Pop Culture, and the Mass Marketing of Amnesty

The lefty movie reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes really appreciated this tug-at-your-heartstrings film which features a caring, hardworking papi who drives without a license and works without a green card. One critic said of A Better Life, "Personalizes the illegal immigrant experience and digs much deeper into what has become a national disgrace." One wonders what Ray Tranchant, a law-abiding father whose story doesn't rate a Hollywood film, would say to that.

Prediction: Will garner, at least, one Oscar nomination. Bah.

Beach, Lake, Pool, or Air Cond. Reading

Stephen L. Carter's New England White is a thick novel which was published in 2007. This Slate writer does a fine job explaining the plot's particulars (so I don't have to).

My two cents: Carter's book is part murder mystery, part social commentary, and part soap opera. It's also preachy, repetitive, and implausible, but Carter, a prof at Yale Law, still manages to be a fairly tasteful, fairly original wordsmith. I couldn't stop reading the book because a) the central characters are members of the American black bourgeoisie, and b) the setting is a chilly (as in 'brr,' and as in 'snooty') northeastern college campus. An engrossing mix.


A Very Sad "First"

This terrible boating accident, which occurred not far from where I live, made the national news. The thunderstorm, that night, was indeed "severe."

The crew of the "Sociable" heroically rescued six (of the eight) members of the crew of the capsized "WingNuts."

Condolences to the families of Mark Morley, 51, and Suzanne Bickel, 40.

Update: Helmet cam footage of the storm.

Can the police enter my home & search my laptop?

Thanks to John P. for passing along this article - Know Your Rights! - published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Woof-woof update: The EFF's resident beast.

When Liberals Attack Liberals

The leftists of Imagine 2050 (a blog), who go all kum bah yah over illegal aliens, are miffed that liberal environmentalists, Don and Alan Weeden, support population-control by supporting immigration reform organizations ergo the sign.

Too bad the I-2050 young guns aren't bothered by the fact that Don Weeden is also a huge supporter of Planned Parenthood. No love or signs on behalf of preborn babies, huh, guys?

Bottom line: A national immigration reform organization, run and funded by conservatives, is long overdue.

Source: http://imagine2050.newcomm.org/2011/07/18/conservation-foundations-funding-anti-immigrant-groups/


BULB Act Update

Go here. Bummer!

Crime Fighter: Don't Glamorize Crime Bosses

Curtis Sliwa (pictured, right), founder of the Guardian Angels, has posted an interesting rant on his blog: "It's nothing new for films and TV shows to glamorize gangsterism: From The Godfather to The Sopranos, we've long had a love affair with the mob. But with the recent news that John Travolta has reportedly agreed to play John (Dapper Don) Gotti Sr. in a film saga about New York's most notorious crime syndicate, it seems like Hollywood itself is seeking to become the sixth Mafia family.

Che disgrazia! Unless we support what the Mafia stands for - murder, corruption, drugs, prostitution - we should boycott this movie (if and when it is released) and doom it to the DVD dustbin of history, where most of Travolta's career belongs.

After all, we'd never stand for a movie that shows how an Islamic suicide bomber is 'just one of us.' Yet if the accent is Italian, this schlock passes for art. And as the recent federal bust of more than 120 mobsters on the East Coast demonstrated, these creeps are still at work. There's no reason to celebrate them or pretend they're just a thing of the past, like cowboys."

Mr. Sliwa's anti-mob crusading once got him shot.

Hello, My Dear

This stately creature struck a pose, before prancing away into the woods.

Update: Wildlife struggling due to the drought.

Do you think gold is money? No.

The 'gold exchange' begins around the 4:19 mark. Prior to that, the feisty Congressman Paul, the Fed's most famous watchdog, spends his time sticking up for the consumers. (Translation: The little guy and gal.)

Business Insider, a predictably corporatist outfit, poohs-poohs the Doc's thesis (about gold as $). However, BI does make an excellent point about the realities of our age regarding currency. Your thoughts?

Update: An ounce of gold = many "sovereign issued currencies."


Sunday Inspiration: Operation Blessing

This faith-based organization has been helping families (in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri) rebuild their homes and their lives.

Check out this story to learn how Operation Blessing International helped a single dad, Nathan Powell (and his four children), receive a fantastic gift that caused them to weep with joy.

The Powells


A Mecca for Psychopaths

A random and disturbing acid attack. This time the crime occurred in Holyoke, Massachusetts: "A 35 year-old woman is in danger of losing her right eye after an unidentified stranger threw a caustic liquid in her face Friday morning.

Holyoke Police Lieutenant Manny Febo told 22News that around 9:00 A.M., the woman was walking her dog on Berkshire Street near the railroad tracks, when a man carrying a cup approached her and threw the liquid in her face. Febo says the victim does not know her attacker and that there was no interaction between the two prior to him throwing the liquid in her face."

Two months ago, also in Holyoke, a similar attack took place: "43-year-old Julio Acevedo of Holyoke is in a Boston hospital, after suffering serious burns when he was splashed with an acid-like chemical Thursday night ... Acevedo was on the sidewalk near 333 High Street around 8:00 P.M. when someone came up from behind and threw the chemical on him."

To think that Holyoke was once known as a cutting-edge, thriving industrial city dotted with paper mills.

H/T: Mr. R.

Sat. Sighting: The Squatter is a Chipmunk

That's Cedric. The pipe is his abode. The pipe is near my mailbox. The pipe conveniently protects him from predators and from the elements ... but not from snoopy paparazzo.

Say "Cheese," Cedric.

Yay, that's what I'm talking about.

A Family's Values

The Duggars offer parenting advice to the Octomom, Nadya Suleman. (I know. Weird. But in the times we live in, none of these societal practices even seem weird. Which is weird. Maybe we've all jumped the shark.)

Anyway, here's five of their ten suggestions which are as positive as they are appropriate:

1. Praise your children 10 times more than you get on to them.
2. Model the character and responses you want your children to develop.
3. Don't raise your voice or say put-down words, stay under control.
4. Humbly apologize when you blow it.
5. Lead by example, look for opportunities to serve those around you.

As for Number 6? Well, given how all these people earn a living ...

6. Turn off the TV, and spend time as a family building special memories.

Now if Michelle and Jim Bob start dispensing marital advice to this ambitious pair - well, déjà vu.


Take Me to Your (Liberal) Leader

According to the Pew Hispanic Center: "By their own reckoning, Latinos living in the United States do not have a national leader. When asked in an open-ended question to name the person they consider 'the most important Latino leader in the country today,' nearly two-thirds (64%) of Hispanic respondents said they did not know. An additional 10% said 'no one.' "

Fair enough.

But now notice the bias of the PHC: "The survey explored the subject of leadership in the Latino community in another way. Respondents were presented with the names of eight prominent Latinos* and asked if they had heard of each. Those who said they had were then asked if they considered that person to be a leader.

Of the eight names presented, just two were familiar to a majority of respondents: Sotomayor (67%) and Ramos (59%). Four others were known by more than a quarter of respondents: Villaraigosa (44%), Gutierrez (38%), New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (35%), and UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta (28%). The other two were familiar to only a small share of respondents: U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) of Tucson, Arizona (13%), and Janet Murguía, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of La Raza (8%)."

*Not a conservative or independent among the bunch. To boot, all these Hispanics are vocal supporters of illegal immigration and/or amnesty. Humph.

Friday Fun: Chalk Art

Sidewalk and chalk go together like peanut butter and jelly, right?

While walking on our city's well-cared-for bike path (which is known as the Little Traverse Wheelway), I came upon this original drawing of the bay/Lake Michigan.


18th Century: Old-School vs. New School

The debate about whether a 'classical education' is a practical choice for the masses has been raging for many, many years.

" ... he [Jeremy Bentham] did not disguise his opinion that a knowledge of Latin and Greek was of little value to the great majority of people ... he drew up a secondary school curriculum for middle-class children in which the humanities were heavily outweighed by science and technology."

Bentham, 1748-1832: British jurist, Panopticon creator, atheist, contemporary (and critic) of William Blackstone, advocate of utilitarianism, pen pal of Adam Smith.

All-Seeing Panopticon Prison

Sidebar: Sample lectures from Yorktown University, an online, accredited college that touts itself as "tea party friendly."

Off-the-beaten path: Medical school in Antigua.


Is Montana a bastion of freedom?

The beginning of my latest column for the Belgrade News: "If Montana (the state, not Hannah) were a contestant in a national beauty pageant, how would she fare?"

Continue reading here.


Utah Polygamists Want Their Day in Court

Reality show stars to mount a legal challenge to Utah's bigamy laws. Hotshot attorney Jonathan Turley will represent Kody Brown and his four 'wives' - Robyn, Meri, Janelle, and Christine.

Statement from Lawyuh Turley: "We are not demanding the recognition of polygamous marriage. We are only challenging the right of the state to prosecute people for their private relations and demanding equal treatment with other citizens in living their lives according to their own beliefs. This action seeks to protect one of the defining principles of this country, what Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the right to be left alone.’ In that sense, it is a challenge designed to benefit not just polygamists but all citizens who wish to live their lives according to their own values – even if those values run counter to those of the majority in the state."

TCC Note: A few months ago I watched a couple of episodes of Sister Wives. Compared to the materialistic excess and narcissism of the Kardashians, the Brown's lifestyle came across as pretty mundane with conversations centering around children, pregnancy, faith, household protocol and chores, etc. But they are just as intellectually bubbleheaded as the K's. Estrogen-dominated households in both cases. That should tell you something.

Plural Family: Kody and his Cheerleaders

"The pursuit of 'equality' means discrimination against the traditional family." - Laura Wood

Campaign 2011: 'Alligators in the Moat'

At a campaign stop, GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain entertained an audience by explaining his border-security method, "It will be a twenty foot wall, barbed wire, electrified on the top, and on this side of the fence, I'll have that moat that President Obama talked about. And I would put those alligators in that moat!"

Maybe I should change the castle graphic on this blog. How's this?


Legalistic Hysteria?

Convincing argument, against, 'Caylee's law' by Radley Balko (pictured at right).

He writes, "Even more regrettable is that every time a Casey Anthony-type trial captures the public's attention, someone gets the idea that we need a new law in response to the completely unrepresentative case, a law that presumably would have prevented that particularly travesty from happening. The problem, of course, is that the new law -- usually poorly written and passed in a fit of hysteria -- is too late to apply to the case it was designed for. But it does then apply to everyone else.

Laws named after crime victims and dead people are usually a bad idea. They play more to emotion than reason. But they're disturbingly predictable, especially when they come after the death of a child."

Magnificent 11

Learn if your congressional rep. made the list.

Goddess of the Hearth Alert

Click on me.

For more summertime homemaking ideas (including recipes) from the Country Register, go here.

Update: LTD Commodities' latest catalog is available. The company carries products that are affordable and funky.

Taking the Low Road to Serfdom

Wallace's Trial (for Treason) at Westminster

Last year The Freeman featured a nifty little essay about Scotland's past and present. It's written by Lawrence W. Reed who is a Scottish-American.

In a nutshell: Seven hundred years after the torture and execution of the Scottish patriot and freedom fighter, Sir William Wallace, a skilled archer, swordsman, and equestrian, 'Alba' has gone soft and socialistic.

Explains Reed, "The romantic, noble image of proud and independent Scots has given way to a very different reality: a heavily subsidized population that overwhelmingly supports political candidates who demand even more subsidies."

Conrast that mentality with Bravehearts's last words: "I could not be a traitor to Edward,* for I was never his subject."

*Edward I of England


Sunday Inspiration: Matthew 6

"25 Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,

29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these

33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.


Children Need Parents Who Know When To Abstain

It's not just an economic meltdown that's occurring in the Wolverine State, it's also a moral meltdown: "Forty percent of all births in Michigan in 2009 were to unmarried women, up from 34 percent in 2000. The trend consigns thousands of children to poverty and their mothers to a future of low-wage subsistence, says a new study."

HT: L.A.

Sat. Sighting: The Bachelor Finds a Sweetie

Congrats to Mr. Justin Dortignac (FOL*) who is engaged to Miss Becky Kalebaugh. The wedding will take place, next month, in Sisters, Oregon. The pair enjoyed a brief courtship earlier this year. Here's here's how this meeting of the minds and hearts began (according to Becky): " ... dad gave us his blessing to get to know each other with the intention of marriage."

After the wedding, this parent-honoring pair will reside in Norco, CA.

*Friend of the Lymans


Criminal Enterprise: Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

Near Detroit, Michigan.

The perils of crowded city living: Running afoul of stupid ordinances and busybody neighbors.

Contact information for Czar Kevin Rulkowski (pictured, right) who thinks the creative garden of Julie Bass isn't "suitable."