7.21.2014

on aging

Throughout the course of "my twenties", I was psychologically (not rationally) convinced I was invincible, and  I more or less behaved like my body could not fail me in any serious way, regardless of the extremes to which I pushed it. I'm aware this disposition was unwise.

So I recently entered the fourth decade of my life and went to the doctors and found that I am not, in fact, invincible.  This is a hard truth that I don't like.  Reason let me know it when I was younger; time made it real, and reality has impinged upon my delusions and upset me.

6.30.2014

good decision from the supreme court today

in the United States, religious freedom survives for another day, just barely

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/hobby-lobby-wins-contraceptive-ruling-supreme-court/story?id=24364311

a ridiculous freak-out session at abc news is captured in a video at the above link


5.10.2014

i could never be a part of a religion that derives its moral teachings from the spirit of the times

it just doesnt make sense

it's what people want, though

4.18.2014

4.08.2014

It's all going according to plan...

Survey: US sees sharpest health insurance premium increases in years
The investment bank’s April survey of 148 brokers found that this quarter, the average premium increase for customers renewing an insurance plan is 12 percent in the small group market and 11 percent in the individual market, according to Forbes’ Scott Gottlieb.
The hikes — the largest in the past three years, according to Morgan Stanley’s quarterly reports — are “largely due to changes under the [Affordable Care Act],” analysts concluded. Rates have been growing increasingly fast throughout all of 2013, after a period of drops in 2012
 Affordable indeed!

4.06.2014

Prophetic Article from Robert George

On "What Mozilla Means":
Mozilla has now made its employment policy clear.
No Catholics need apply.
Or Evangelical Christians.
Or Eastern Orthodox.
Or Orthodox Jews.
Or Mormons.
Or Muslims.
Unless, that is, you are the “right kind” of Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox Christian, observant Jew, Mormon, or Muslim, namely, the kind who believes your religious or philosophical tradition is wrong about the nature of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and the view now dominant among secular elites is correct. In that case, Mozilla will consider you morally worthy to work for them. Or maybe you can work for them even if you do happen to believe (or should I say “believe”) your faith’s teaching—so long as you keep your mouth shut about it: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Recommend reading the rest.

2.22.2014

Saturday

"Information is to wisdom as a ceiling is to the sky"

- Anthony Esolen

1.03.2014

too true?

http://www.theonion.com/articles/relatives-gather-from-across-the-country-to-stare,34842/

Twitter as Public Expression of Lonliness

One of his sources describes Twitter this way: “It’s the constant mirror in front of your face. The only problem is that it’s not just you and the mirror. You’re waiting for the mirror to tell you what it thinks. The more you check for a response, the more habituated you become to craving one. It’s pathetic, because at the end of the day, a Twitter user is asking, ‘Am I really here, and do you love me?’ ”

12.24.2013

The Good News

Christianity and Christian discipleship is fundamentally about The Good News - God has given us Jesus Christ, who has come to save us from our sins.  What was once broken is now restored, ever more fully, in the life of Christ.  This is the evangel, the Good News of Salvation. Merry Christmas!

When our culture, postmodern Western Culture, hears the Good News, it immediately asks a pointed followup question: "How is this good news?"  After all, this Good News reads as an accusation.  Modern folks might be interested in salvation, but it's certainly not salvation from something so antiquated or unreal as SIN. And woe to the person (the Christian) who claims something someone freely chooses to do is sinful.  This is the most intolerable insult, the one absolute truth to which our culture clings.  This insult, the claim that some choices are sinful, assaults both American idols: FREEDOM and CHOICE.   Free choices are anointed or holy. And choices - everyone deserves to choose as they see fit, and no one has the right to say otherwise.  Now if Christianity claimed to save us from boredom, or from poverty, or from war, or from Republicans, its Good News claim might have a more interesting effect.  But this is obviously not the case.

Modern Christian Evangelization must take this modern rebuke of the traditional method of proclaiming the Christian Gospel into account.  As VATICAN II says, Christians must "read the signs of the times" and act accordingly.  The world will not be persuaded by a God whose principle claim on our attention is salvation from some unknown malady.

12.14.2013

The Yankees are Funny

Joe Girardi, coach of the Yankees, had this to say about Jacoby Ellsbury joining his team:
"There are so many different ways he can beat you, whether it's with his power or with his speed or with his glove," Girardi said. "Jacoby, you are going to make my job so much easier. You are no longer a thorn in my side; you are a flower in our clubhouse."
 "You are a flower in our clubhouse"?  Is that supposed to be a compliment?  And what kind of flower is worth $153 million dollars?  ABSURD :)

11.29.2013

Great Article About Malcom Gladwell

Here

A taste:
No one can doubt Gladwell’s ability to reach large audiences. The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers were all tremendous best-sellers, leading some to conclude that Gladwell has invented a new genre of popular writing. In David and Goliath, Gladwell again applies the formula that has been so successful in the past. Deploying a mixture of affecting narratives of struggle against the odds with carefully chosen academic papers, he contends that the powerless are more powerful than those who appear to wield much of the power in the world. To many, this may appear counterintuitive, he suggests; but by marshaling a variety of historical examples ranging from the American struggle for civil rights to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, leavened with homely tales of the trials and triumphs of basketball teams and fortified with forays into sociology and psychology, Gladwell thinks that he can persuade the reader to accept the difficult truth that the weak are not as weak as the reader imagines. If they play their cards right, they can prevail against the strong.

Why this should be thought a difficult view to accept is unclear. There is nothing remotely challenging, for most of Gladwell’s readers, in this story; it is the sort of uplift in which they already believe. The dominant narrative for the last three centuries has been one in which the power of elites and rulers is progressively overcome by the moral force of the common man and woman who sticks up for what is right. Far from being a forbidden truth, this is what everyone thinks. Here we can glimpse one of the secrets of Gladwell’s success. Pretending to present daringly counterintuitive views to his readers, he actually strengthens the hold on them of a view of things that they have long taken for granted. This is, perhaps, the essence of the genre that Gladwell has pioneered: while reinforcing beliefs that everyone avows, he evokes in the reader a satisfying sensation of intellectual non-conformity.

11.23.2013

Here's some painful truth about the NFL and our foreign policy, from an article at the American Conservative:

 The American public’s apparent compulsion to demonstrate “support for our troops” in ways that are emotionally satisfying but ultimately meaningless has been described by Andrew Bacevich as the central tenet of our nation’s “civic religion.” It has rightly been noted that the best way to support soldiers, sailors, and Marines would be to bring them home. Bumper sticker sentiments telling the guys and girls that we love them do the opposite, permitting us to avoid any possible guilty conscience or introspection over why young Americans are fighting and dying in a seemingly interminable series of wars. Nowhere is the tendency towards monetizing meaningless bromides about national security more evident than in professional sports, particularly the National Football League.
The whole thing is worth reading.  Articles like this leave me wondering how the status quo could ever change. 

11.21.2013

CS Lewis

Read him!

He died 50 years ago, tomorrow. 

11.12.2013

file this under what the hell

Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) and Norah Jones (eh)  cover an entire Everly Brothers record?

Cool!

11.07.2013

Obamacare

So it turns out health insurance will cost more for just about everyone. Seems like the plan is working just like it was designed!  And now, for some deeper thoughts on Obamacare courtesy of James Caesar at First Things:
The debate over Obamacare is about to take an ominous turn. Critics are quite correct to point out that the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, apart from its being a breech of trust from what the President promised, will result in many people being forced to pay much larger premiums for what will sometimes be the same or inferior coverage. Of course some will find better policies on the exchange, as the President and Secretary Sebelius have argued, but many will not.

The utter indifference to these losers is stunning. Even if it proves true that there are more winners than losers, what kind of government, in a system based on individual rights, can say to millions of people: too bad for you, you just have to pay more. The sacrifice of some to a utilitarian calculation of (supposedly) more winners than losers is at odds with the fundamentals of a society of law. It is no different than a government, needing to pay for any program, simply picks at random a set of citizens and makes them–and them alone–bear the full burden. The willingness of some to accept this standard, to vaunt it, makes a mockery of the rule of law. It is an appropriation of property. If Obamacare has costs, the only way a lawful society should pay for it—assuming one favors it—is through the general revenue, not by forcing some random subgroup to foot the bill.

Critics today point to those who are losing something; proponents boast of the many more who will gain. They are both ignoring the real issue: the mere act of calculating the thing in this way is a gross violation of the idea of the rule of law.

I have no doubt that there will be those who gain—whether more than those who lose no one can now say. Once the gainers get something and keep it for a time, any effort to divest them of it will be regarded as imposing a special burden on them. Even a change will then require a payment to them. What the politics of Obamacare portends is a result in which more and more people believe that government has dealt with them in an arbitrary and unjust way. This is no formula for creating social peace. The damage to the rule of law is the greatest cost of this ill-advised measure. Even if one thinks the goals are justified, the means are not.



The debate over Obamacare is about to take an ominous turn. Critics are quite correct to point out that the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, apart from its being a breech of trust from what the President promised, will result in many people being forced to pay much larger premiums for what will sometimes be the same or inferior coverage. Of course some will find better policies on the exchange, as the President and Secretary Sebelius have argued, but many will not.
The utter indifference to these losers is stunning. Even if it proves true that there are more winners than losers, what kind of government, in a system based on individual rights, can say to millions of people: too bad for you, you just have to pay more. The sacrifice of some to a utilitarian calculation of (supposedly) more winners than losers is at odds with the fundamentals of a society of law. It is no different than a government, needing to pay for any program, simply picks at random a set of citizens and makes them–and them alone–bear the full burden. The willingness of some to accept this standard, to vaunt it, makes a mockery of the rule of law. It is an appropriation of property. If Obamacare has costs, the only way a lawful society should pay for it—assuming one favors it—is through the general revenue, not by forcing some random subgroup to foot the bill.
Critics today point to those who are losing something; proponents boast of the many more who will gain. They are both ignoring the real issue: the mere act of calculating the thing in this way is a gross violation of the idea of the rule of law.
I have no doubt that there will be those who gain—whether more than those who lose no one can now say. Once the gainers get something and keep it for a time, any effort to divest them of it will be regarded as imposing a special burden on them. Even a change will then require a payment to them. What the politics of Obamacare portends is a result in which more and more people believe that government has dealt with them in an arbitrary and unjust way. This is no formula for creating social peace. The damage to the rule of law is the greatest cost of this ill-advised measure. Even if one thinks the goals are justified, the means are not.
- See more at: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/postmodernconservative/#sthash.MysmAKgL.dpuf
The debate over Obamacare is about to take an ominous turn. Critics are quite correct to point out that the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, apart from its being a breech of trust from what the President promised, will result in many people being forced to pay much larger premiums for what will sometimes be the same or inferior coverage. Of course some will find better policies on the exchange, as the President and Secretary Sebelius have argued, but many will not.
The utter indifference to these losers is stunning. Even if it proves true that there are more winners than losers, what kind of government, in a system based on individual rights, can say to millions of people: too bad for you, you just have to pay more. The sacrifice of some to a utilitarian calculation of (supposedly) more winners than losers is at odds with the fundamentals of a society of law. It is no different than a government, needing to pay for any program, simply picks at random a set of citizens and makes them–and them alone–bear the full burden. The willingness of some to accept this standard, to vaunt it, makes a mockery of the rule of law. It is an appropriation of property. If Obamacare has costs, the only way a lawful society should pay for it—assuming one favors it—is through the general revenue, not by forcing some random subgroup to foot the bill.
Critics today point to those who are losing something; proponents boast of the many more who will gain. They are both ignoring the real issue: the mere act of calculating the thing in this way is a gross violation of the idea of the rule of law.
I have no doubt that there will be those who gain—whether more than those who lose no one can now say. Once the gainers get something and keep it for a time, any effort to divest them of it will be regarded as imposing a special burden on them. Even a change will then require a payment to them. What the politics of Obamacare portends is a result in which more and more people believe that government has dealt with them in an arbitrary and unjust way. This is no formula for creating social peace. The damage to the rule of law is the greatest cost of this ill-advised measure. Even if one thinks the goals are justified, the means are not.
- See more at: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/postmodernconservative/#sthash.MysmAKgL.dpuf
The debate over Obamacare is about to take an ominous turn. Critics are quite correct to point out that the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, apart from its being a breech of trust from what the President promised, will result in many people being forced to pay much larger premiums for what will sometimes be the same or inferior coverage. Of course some will find better policies on the exchange, as the President and Secretary Sebelius have argued, but many will not.
The utter indifference to these losers is stunning. Even if it proves true that there are more winners than losers, what kind of government, in a system based on individual rights, can say to millions of people: too bad for you, you just have to pay more. The sacrifice of some to a utilitarian calculation of (supposedly) more winners than losers is at odds with the fundamentals of a society of law. It is no different than a government, needing to pay for any program, simply picks at random a set of citizens and makes them–and them alone–bear the full burden. The willingness of some to accept this standard, to vaunt it, makes a mockery of the rule of law. It is an appropriation of property. If Obamacare has costs, the only way a lawful society should pay for it—assuming one favors it—is through the general revenue, not by forcing some random subgroup to foot the bill.
Critics today point to those who are losing something; proponents boast of the many more who will gain. They are both ignoring the real issue: the mere act of calculating the thing in this way is a gross violation of the idea of the rule of law.
I have no doubt that there will be those who gain—whether more than those who lose no one can now say. Once the gainers get something and keep it for a time, any effort to divest them of it will be regarded as imposing a special burden on them. Even a change will then require a payment to them. What the politics of Obamacare portends is a result in which more and more people believe that government has dealt with them in an arbitrary and unjust way. This is no formula for creating social peace. The damage to the rule of law is the greatest cost of this ill-advised measure. Even if one thinks the goals are justified, the means are not.
- See more at: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/postmodernconservative/#sthash.MysmAKgL.dpuf
The debate over Obamacare is about to take an ominous turn. Critics are quite correct to point out that the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, apart from its being a breech of trust from what the President promised, will result in many people being forced to pay much larger premiums for what will sometimes be the same or inferior coverage. Of course some will find better policies on the exchange, as the President and Secretary Sebelius have argued, but many will not.
The utter indifference to these losers is stunning. Even if it proves true that there are more winners than losers, what kind of government, in a system based on individual rights, can say to millions of people: too bad for you, you just have to pay more. The sacrifice of some to a utilitarian calculation of (supposedly) more winners than losers is at odds with the fundamentals of a society of law. It is no different than a government, needing to pay for any program, simply picks at random a set of citizens and makes them–and them alone–bear the full burden. The willingness of some to accept this standard, to vaunt it, makes a mockery of the rule of law. It is an appropriation of property. If Obamacare has costs, the only way a lawful society should pay for it—assuming one favors it—is through the general revenue, not by forcing some random subgroup to foot the bill.
Critics today point to those who are losing something; proponents boast of the many more who will gain. They are both ignoring the real issue: the mere act of calculating the thing in this way is a gross violation of the idea of the rule of law.
I have no doubt that there will be those who gain—whether more than those who lose no one can now say. Once the gainers get something and keep it for a time, any effort to divest them of it will be regarded as imposing a special burden on them. Even a change will then require a payment to them. What the politics of Obamacare portends is a result in which more and more people believe that government has dealt with them in an arbitrary and unjust way. This is no formula for creating social peace. The damage to the rule of law is the greatest cost of this ill-advised measure. Even if one thinks the goals are justified, the means are not.
- See more at: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/postmodernconservative/#sthash.MysmAKgL.dpuf
The debate over Obamacare is about to take an ominous turn. Critics are quite correct to point out that the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, apart from its being a breech of trust from what the President promised, will result in many people being forced to pay much larger premiums for what will sometimes be the same or inferior coverage. Of course some will find better policies on the exchange, as the President and Secretary Sebelius have argued, but many will not.
The utter indifference to these losers is stunning. Even if it proves true that there are more winners than losers, what kind of government, in a system based on individual rights, can say to millions of people: too bad for you, you just have to pay more. The sacrifice of some to a utilitarian calculation of (supposedly) more winners than losers is at odds with the fundamentals of a society of law. It is no different than a government, needing to pay for any program, simply picks at random a set of citizens and makes them–and them alone–bear the full burden. The willingness of some to accept this standard, to vaunt it, makes a mockery of the rule of law. It is an appropriation of property. If Obamacare has costs, the only way a lawful society should pay for it—assuming one favors it—is through the general revenue, not by forcing some random subgroup to foot the bill.
Critics today point to those who are losing something; proponents boast of the many more who will gain. They are both ignoring the real issue: the mere act of calculating the thing in this way is a gross violation of the idea of the rule of law.
I have no doubt that there will be those who gain—whether more than those who lose no one can now say. Once the gainers get something and keep it for a time, any effort to divest them of it will be regarded as imposing a special burden on them. Even a change will then require a payment to them. What the politics of Obamacare portends is a result in which more and more people believe that government has dealt with them in an arbitrary and unjust way. This is no formula for creating social peace. The damage to the rule of law is the greatest cost of this ill-advised measure. Even if one thinks the goals are justified, the means are not.
- See more at: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/postmodernconservative/#sthash.MysmAKgL.dpuf

9.29.2013

Breaking Bad Predictions

Walt AND Jesse will die.  Nothing happens to Skylar. 

That's all I've got

9.27.2013

Talk about an overreaction

Tom Harkin lookin' for attention, apparently

I might as well join those indulging him.  To be frank, his comments strike me as remarkably ignorant.  This country was designed to encourage disagreement in DC.  It's certainly nothing new.  It also should be expected, given that the policy that is about to be implemented is radical in scope.  It can be stated without hyperbole - this law will change your life.  Does Senator Harkin expect the folks who disagree with him to remain silent?  Eh, who knows.

9.26.2013

Your future, NOW!

An Intelligent Take on "OBAMACARE"

A snippet:

An established political idea is like a vampire. Facts, opinions, votes, garlic: Nothing can make it die.
But there is one thing that can kill an established political idea. It will die if the public that embraced it abandons it.
 Six months ago, that didn't seem likely. Now it does.

The public's dislike of ObamaCare isn't growing with every new poll for reasons of philosophical attachment to notions of liberty and choice. Fear of ObamaCare is growing because a cascade of news suggests that ObamaCare is an impending catastrophe.

Big labor unions and smaller franchise restaurant owners want out. UPS dropped coverage for employed spouses. Corporations such as Walgreens and IBM are transferring employees or retirees into private insurance exchanges. Because of ObamaCare, the Cleveland Clinic has announced early retirements for staff and possible layoffs. The federal government this week made public its estimate of premium costs for the federal health-care exchanges. It is a morass, revealing the law's underappreciated operational complexity.

9.23.2013

Concerning the Pope's Recent Headlines

Highly recommend this commentary by R.R. Reno:

Via First Things