Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Cold Heart of Obamacare

Salute to A Shepherd's Voice. Read the full column, by Nat Hentoff, at the Cato Institute.

Mr. Hentoff has an excellent stinger line: "We do not elect the president and Congress to decide how short our lives will be. That decision is way above their pay grades."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Blogrollin'

Fr. D would make me look bad, if I figured there was any standard to which I thought I should hold myself. You really should go read his post on tragic circumstances. It's far better than anything I expect to write, except by the grace of God.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blogrollin'

On the off chance that there are any readers who prefer my blog to Fr. Dwight Longenecker's, what is wrong with you?

I never come up with truly fabulous things like this.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

World of Lies

I hear enough of Rush Limbaugh to know he has adopted "the World of Lies" as a new catchphrase. That certainly seems to apply to Planned Parenthood; witness this article.

From the comments, and though I regard RICO as bad law, I agree with this:
I realize that, under the current administration, this is highly improbable but I do believe a case could be made to charge PP, and all their officers, under the RICO statutes. They constitute a continuing criminal enterprise (hiding knowledge of, and facts pertaining to, crimes), they fraudulently receive government funds under various titles, and they conceal their activities by operating under multiple entities, perceived as independent though controlled by a single, overarching, entity which controls the direction and methods used within the organization. Going after the individual offices for their trangressions, regardless of how serious, is akin to prosecuting street level drug dealers, whilst the kingpins operate with impunity. -- Reilly

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Government Intervention and High Prices

I found this article, by Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson at Grove City College. He discusses the history of meddling with prices, and how it raises costs. It's worth a read. But in the first comment, along comes this, from Joe DeVet:
[T]here’s a moral dimension to messing with markets which is often overlooked in Catholic discourse about “social justice.” We Catholics proclaim a “preferential option for the poor”, but as the discussion goes on, many other competing “social-justice” goals tend to get in the way. We see a problem like the loss of the family farm, and we figure we’ll subsidize plowing crops under and killing piglets for the sake of the farm. We see a minority who don’t have health insurance, and are tempted to think remaking the whole health system will help those few.

At the end of the day, we may have helped SOME poor in the short term, but have harmed all the poor in the longer term. Prices are higher and goods and services more limited as a result of the interventions. The rich (includes you and me) are inconvenienced; the poor actually suffer. They don’t just “feel” poorer, as the author states, but ARE poorer.

So much for the “preferential option.” Bearing this in mind, we need to recognize that it is not only a bad idea to intervene in markets the way the current administration is trying to do, it is actually sinful.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Death of Peak Oil

Good News On Two Fronts. Salute to the Western Confucian.

The story relates two things: first, how a Russian scientist, Vladimir Kutcherov, was able to manufacture methane and other hydrocarbons -- some much like petroleum -- by mimicing conditions of the Earth's mantle. He combined iron, water, and calcium carbonate (limestone) at about 30,000 atmospheres, and got hydrocarbons. He hypothesizes that oil and natural gas are the products of geological processes having nothing to do with dinosaurs or other fossils. This is supported by rumors that some North Sea and Gulf of Mexico fields once thought dry are producing again (see the comments on that post). The second part of the hypothesis is that fluid hydrocarbons make their way to the surface through deep cracks in the crust. Map those cracks, and you'll find petroleum and natural gas.

If he is right, what does this mean?

First, it means that we will not run out of oil and natural gas until the Earth's core freezes solid. The argument for deadlier, lightweight cars is at least partly a fraud, as are those for mass transit.

Second, it means that oil exploration will become vastly more efficient and widespread. Instead of 20% of exploratory wells striking oil, it will be more like 70%. And many areas once thought to have no promise could have lots of oil. We may well find oil on every continent except Antarctica ... and maybe there as well.

Third, it means the number one ally of violent jihadism is going to be the NIMBY syndrome. Make no mistake, the primary exporter of violent jihadism is Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi Muslims, and they are financed by petroleum. If energy independence is going to get much more widespread, their share of the petroleum market will precipitously decline.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just Having Some Fun

I was lucky enough to grow up in Detroit, where I could get CBC-TV Channel 9 out of Windsor in the final years of Wayne and Shuster's career. Enjoy all 20 minutes of "The Brown Pumpernickel," a really fabulous example of their work.




It's a real shame, but comedy like this has become very rare. Wayne and Shuster were literate, measured, decent, and very very funny. Indecency sprawls everywhere in our modern culture of death, of course, which is a crying shame. It will take near universal rejection of pornography and smut to change that, and though I pray for it, I don't really expect it any time soon.

But that isn't the only thing that has changed. Television itself encourages a short attention span (and the internet even more so); see this article on The Art of Manliness. Somebody who finds the opportunity cost of paying attention to something for ten minutes is never going to get all the way through even as fluffy a classic as "The Three Musketeers," let alone "Summa Theologica," or the Vatican II documents. And because he is impatient, he will not become literate.

We hear "the medium is the message" so often it has become cliche, but it is cliche precisely because it is true. And the medium definitely controls the message when it comes to social networking sites: When "Know Thyself" Becomes "Show Thyself".

If I have anything to say about telly, facebooking, and the like, it is this: do not let your interest in such things become idolatry. The means of human communion God has given to us from out of antiquity -- family, church, community -- are, in the vast majority of cases, going to be best. And if you rely exclusively on media which by their nature eliminate the gestures, postures, tones of voice and facial expressions that make up so much of human interaction, you really are missing out on a great deal. You can strengthen your relationships by visiting people, or by getting out some paper and a fine pen and writing a letter. It requires more effort, but aren't those you love worth effort?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rectification of Names

"A is A," as Mark Scott used to say. Much of the immorality being advocated today is promoted by one of two lies:

"A is not-A": "A human zygote/ embryo/ fetus is not a human being. Using taxes to reallocate wealth is not theft. An incestuous marriage is not immoral. Self-defense is not a legitimate use of a gun. Licensing is not rent seeking. The Catholic Church is oppressive. Women are the same as men."

"not-A is A": "Homosexual marriage is marriage. The pregnant man is a man. Government health care is free. Minimum wages protect the poor. Abortion is a right."

Both lists could go on, and on, and on, and on. This is one of the topics that the Western Confucian regularly posts about -- The Rectification of Names. Some have suggested that Rectification of Names proposes that if you get language right, all else will follow, but that's not right, any more than saying the Confucian Rule ("Don't do unto others what you would not have them do unto you") is the same as the Golden Rule ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"). Rather, the Rectification of Names proposes that if language is wrong, then nothing else can be right.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Fort Hood Massacre

The thing that struck me right off the bat about the incident, is just how long it took for anyone to show up that could shoot back at Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. This is an Army base -- a fortress, for crying out loud! Where were all the people with guns?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Natural vs. Unnatural

In our culture, meat that is saturated with synthetic and artificial hormones is seen as inferior to meat that is not. The presumption is that synthetic and artificial hormones distort the natural development of the animal from which the meat is taken (EDIT: or else, that they will distort the nature of the one eating it), with the corollary that natural is superior to unnatural.

And yet, in our culture, women are constantly harangued to saturate their bodies with synthetic and artificial hormones. They do so with the specific intention of distorting the natural functioning of their bodies, to render themselves temporarily infertile. Men regard unnatural, infertile women as superior to natural women. And women take significant risks to this end.

Nor is it merely hormones. Women are subtly urged to starve or mutilate themselves to give their bodies unnatural shapes -- because that's the way that men want them.

How do we fail to notice this sort of cognitive dissonance?

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Religion of Peace

The Religion of Peace is a new site I've recently added to my random links list. Their foremost dictum: Do not judge Islam by the Muslims you know. Do not judge the Muslims you know by Islam.

A lucid article about Islam.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Progressivism and Intelligence

Salute to The Western Confucian.

A peer-reviewed journal, Intelligence, has published a study that shows that conservative (that is to say, traditionalist) values negatively correlate with high scores on SATs, when one statistically analyzes the aggregates. Here is a piece analyzing the study and common liberal ivory-tower attitudes.

The short form: While it requires a certain level of intelligence to break from tradition, it does not follow, nor do the data demonstrate, that the majority of intelligent people do so, or so do permanently. It is entirely possible that the lowest 3 quintiles are 90% conservative, and the upper two are 75% conservative.

Super short form: Just because most "progressives" are high-IQ people, doesn't mean that most high-IQ people are "progressives."

FREE Free Healthcare

Read about Remote Area Medical, a group of mobile, volunteer medical professionals who want to give away their services, without ANY money from the government. So of course they almost always have to leave the US in order to do so. In candor, I'm desperately poor and currently without health coverage, so I would really like for these guys to be able to do their work in my state. But they can't.

The right response to our health insurance and care issues is freedom. Thomas DiLorenzo does a good job of explaining how government is the problem in this article.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Backhanded Admission

I've been going through the archives at Stuff White People Like, with the occasional bit of amusement. Then I come to the post on Difficult Breakups.
Prior to engaging in divorce, most white people train for it by engaging in a series of long term relationships that end very poorly.
There it is, in a nutshell: the admission that "going steady" and "long term relationships" are training for divorce. The more breakups you've had, the more familiar (and thus, in its own sick way, the more comforting) divorce will seem.

Divorce is a scourge. Don't practice for it. Don't set up patterns of thought that will lead you to it. Don't date. Don't go steady. Don't enter long term relationships. Don't swap keys. Don't move in together. Don't give your whole self to somebody else, and then try to get it all back. You can't. Enter courtship and get married.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Papa Ben and The Anglican Church

Papa Ben understands well that the future direction of the Church is found in the attitudes of her bishops. So his primary and most important reform is appointing good, faithful, and orthodox bishops. See this article, which details some of his efforts.

But he is doing more than that. With the new apostolic constitution providing Personal Ordinariates for converts from the Church of England (Inside the Vatican Article), he is also deliberately marginalizing heterodox bishops. And I approve of his desire to do so.

Now, I can forsee the possibility that these Personal Ordinariates could one day protect heterodoxy, but if that happens, then the Pope (whoever it is by then) can eliminate them.

Most of the interesting commentary regarding the new apostolic constitution that I've read is at Fr. Longenecker's blog. One thing that he said that I think is MOST appropriate, is that we should all pray for God's grace to flood over this process. St. Jude, we thought for so long that this day could never come. Remind us that with God, all things are possible, and pray for us all!

I don't have time to keep up with Father Z over at What Does The Prayer Really Say, but he has a lot to say, and more commenters than Father Dwight.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A New World Record

Nobody, but NOBODY, does more murdering than abortionists. Not the Commies, not the Nazis, not the Turks, not the War Between the States, not even influenza.

None of those has passed the 1 Billion (1,000,000,000) Mark. Abortion has.

Is it any wonder that Mother Teresa made so much effort to constantly remind people, "[T]he greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion."

For your stack of quotes:

"Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion." -- Mother Teresa

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." -- Mother Teresa

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Meddling with Prices: Subsidies

The government may provide a subsidy. The government takes tax money and uses it to pay part or all of the price of a good, and gives that good to some beneficiary. The good is both overproduced and overconsumed, but incentives to produce it efficiently or at increased quality are decreased. People don't care as much about these when they didn't themselves earn the money they are spending.

One of the most prominent examples these days is The Scooter Store. Tax money is diverted to scooters, increasing the seller's revenue while reducing or eliminating the buyer's cost. Consumers are more likely to buy, and not likely to hunt for bargains. Producers have an incentive to make more, but not to cut costs or prices. They both win, as do the government employees who administer the program. The losers are everyone who would have liked to use their tax money for something besides buying a scooter for somebody else, and anyone who competes with scooter manufacturers for land, employees, and raw materials.

Health care is rife with subsidies. This article by David Goldhill tells many of the ways that health care costs are diverted from people who get health care to others, and the problems this causes. When the customer isn't paying, he doesn't bother to look for a bargain. When the supplier knows he's going to get paid no matter what he does, he has no incentive to cut costs or improve quality. Mr. Goldhill's story about handwashing is a perfect example.

Another prominent example is postsecondary education (ie, at colleges and universities). As Pell grants and Stafford loans have increased, so too has tuition, ensuring that the market is always charged all that the family of the student can bear, PLUS any subsidies and financial aid they can acquire. And college students learn less and less about how to think and learn with each passing decade.

The housing crisis is also a case of subsidies causing problems. Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac are both federally subsidized companies that would promised to buy risky home mortgages from banks. Basically, they told the banks, "Make a loan to anybody who has a pulse and fills out an application. It doesn't matter if they've never paid off anything in their lives, or if the monthly payment would be twice their monthly income. If they don't pay it back, the government will buy the mortgage from you and collect the money from the borrowers." Artificially increased demand caused artificial increases in price. The artificial increases in price drew extra people into home construction. Most people who were getting the loans and knew they couldn't pay them off didn't care. They figured somebody else would come along before disaster struck and buy the home from them for enough to pay off the entire mortgage and put some money in their pockets besides.

Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac started running out of tax money to buy up bad loans, so they started selling their loans to investors and banks as "innovative mortgage-backed securities." They, and the banks, treated these MBS as part of their capital base. This meant that they could count them as part of their 3%-5% of assets that they actually have to keep on hand to pay depositors and creditors. The value of these things is hard to determine. What people are willing to pay for them at any moment may be a far, far cry from how much money they would bring in if you held on to them. The Federal Accounting Standards Board prefers that assets be valued at what people last paid for it.

How does this work? Imagine a mutual fund, whose primary asset is 10,000 mortgages, that the mutual fund company bought from Fannie Mae. Let's call it "Fannie's Upstanding Collection of Homeowners" and assign it the symbol, FUCHXX. They sell 10,000,000 shares of this agglomeration of mortgages. Your bank buys 10,000 shares of FUCHXX at $40. So they have $400,000 in FUCHXX. They count it as a $400,000 asset, even though they expect it to eventually pay them $800,000 in dividends. Then they loan out $8 million on the strength of that asset, most of which they borrowed.

News comes out that the default rate on Fannie Mae mortgages is absurdly high. Nobody is willing to buy anything based on them. FUCHXX drops to $8 a share. Your bank now has to count it as an $80,000 asset. This means it now has to either come up with another $320,000 in assets, or buy back $6.4 million in loans. Your bank is in big trouble.

That is about what happened to cause the banking crisis that launched the $700,000,000,000 Troubled Asset Recovery Program of President Bush, and the (far larger) "stimulus" package that was recently passed by the Democrat Party and President Obama. Neither of these does much to address the real problem: people were given mortgages they couldn't afford to pay off, and builders built far more houses than people would have bought if they had been limited to mortgages they could afford. The artificially high supply of mortgages is gone, leaving banks and taxpayers holding the bag. The money can't be made back by selling the houses, either. The artificially high demand for homes is gone too, leaving them worth much less than the defaulted mortgages for which they are collateral.

In this series:
Supply, Demand, and Price | Price Caps | Price Supports | Restricting Supply | Excises | Subsidies

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meddling with Prices: Excises

The government may impose taxes on the purchase or sale of a product. The taxes get added to the buyer's cost, but not the seller's revenue. This has the effect of reducing both supply and demand, and also diverting both to alternatives that cost more to make, do the job less well, or both. This is done with sugar, and the business that sugar would get is diverted to corn syrup or other corn sweeteners. The IRS, corn farmers, and Archer Daniels Midland win. Sugar cane and sugar beet farmers, sugar refiners, everyone who likes sugar better than corn syrup, and anyone competing with corn syrup buyers for corn products, loses. Further losses are imposed by transaction costs.

President Obama's "Cap and Trade" scheme is another example of this. By greatly increasing the cost of combustion-generated electricity, he drives electrical utilities towards so-called "renewable" resources that either are far more expensive, far less reliable, have far greater impacts on local ecologies, or all of these.

In this series:
Supply, Demand, and Price | Price Caps | Price Supports | Restricting Supply | Excises | Subsidies

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Meddling with Prices: Restricting Supply

The government may restrict supply, but leave the price free. This drives prices up. Approved providers win. Everyone else loses. This also reduces innovation. There are many, many markets where supply is artificially restricted. Franklin Delano Roosevelt did his best to restrict the supply of food during the height of the Depression, even when many people were struggling to feed themselves. He also used price supports. Real estate markets are restricted by zoning. And a vast array of professions are limited in supply by licensing. And the tighter licensing always results in more people, not less, either doing without or trying to do difficult or dangerous things themselves. For example, the more difficult it is to become an electrician, the fewer people become one. The fewer electricians there are, the more they charge. The more it costs to hire an electrician, the more people are too poor to afford one. The more people who can't afford an electrician, the more try to do electrical work themselves. The more unqualified people do their own electrical work, the more electrocutions there are.

Another example of restricting supply is the Cash for Clunkers program. Cars that get traded in are destroyed (see video), no matter how pristine and useful they may be. This reduces the supply of cars, driving prices higher.

In this series:
Supply, Demand, and Price | Price Caps | Price Supports | Restricting Supply | Excises | Subsidies

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meddling with Prices: Supports

Price supports involve the government increasing the price, above market equilibrium, and promising to buy up any extra. Obviously, producers make more, while consumers buy less, and the extra is either given away or otherwise wasted. In the meantime, money is taken from everyone as taxes and given to the producers. In the end, everyone loses except the producers (and the government employees who are paid to buy and waste the excess product).

Minimum wages are a bit different from other price supports. Rather than leading to excess production of labor, it leads to under-utilization of the labor supply, which shows up as unemployment. You might think that the government does not pay people not to work, but it does. There is unemployment insurance, disability, WIC and AFDC. While the recipients of these benefit somewhat, it is labor unions that benefit greatly. Union contracts do not set wages at $X per hour, but rather at "Minimum wage + $Y per hour." So the most recent round of minimum wage increases, from $5.15/hr to $7.25/hr over three years, has resulted in American labor unions getting a $2.10/hr raise, that they did not have to negotiate for.

The biggest losers when it comes to minimum wages are those who are not able to produce more than it costs to employ them. Examples include young blacks, who usually do not get as good an education as young whites; single mothers, who must have more flexibility in their work schedule; and the handicapped, for whom all manner of accomodations must be made, and who may not be able to do physical labor as well. Other losers include those who would otherwise hire these low-productivity workers. They have typically gotten their customers to take the place of such workers, by "offering" the "convenience" of self-service checkouts, drink refills, gasoline pumping and windshield cleaning. Another group that loses out because of minimum wages are those who would prefer to get paid with something other than cash -- minimum wages pretty much prohibit apprenticeship, as an example.

In this series:
Supply, Demand, and Price | Price Caps | Price Supports | Restricting Supply | Excises | Subsidies

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Meddling With Prices: Caps

The government may set a price that is artificially low, that is, below what demand would currently cause. Richard Nixon did this, with gasoline, in response to the 1973 oil embargo. Because prices were low, there was no reason to make up for the drop in supply. Also, there was very little reason for people to try to conserve gasoline. The result was that demand greatly outstripped supply, leading to shortages. Then rationing was added, which imposed extra costs on buyer, seller, and the government. Gas lines were a fact of life throughout the 70s as a result of all this meddling. The winners were public officials who claimed "I DID something about the high price of gasoline," people who sold their extra gas rationing coupons, and gas station attendants who took bribes to let people buy when the rationing schemes were against them. The losers were everyone who waited in line for gasoline, and everyone who didn't make and sell more gasoline because the price wasn't high enough.

Rent controls do the same sort of thing. Supply is reduced, while demand is increased. The winners are politicians and people who live in rent-controlled housing. There is a long list of losers. First are the rent-controlled landlords, who cannot raise prices to deal with increases in their costs. Second are their tenants. Because their landlords are making little or no money, they often have to forgo ordinary maintenance and sometimes even vital repairs. Third are developers, who don't bother to develop new housing because the rents will be held below what they'd need to make their money back and a living. Fourth is the city, which doesn't get the property taxes from the properties the developers don't make. But the ones who suffer most are the people who cannot get a home. Some go homeless. Most go to live somewhere else. You get long lists of people waiting for homes instead of long lines waiting for gas, but the basic problems -- shortage and waiting -- are the same. And you get the other typical problem, which is essentially a black market. In the case of housing, this is a giant up-front fee charged by the landlord in order to finalize a lease.

In this series:
Supply, Demand, and Price | Price Caps | Price Supports | Restricting Supply | Excises | Subsidies

Friday, September 25, 2009

Obama's Gag Order

If there's anything that tells me ObamaCare is a really, really bad idea, it's this:

President Forbids Insurance Companies to Tell Their Customers What Changes ObamaCare Would Bring

EDIT:

Check out this article as well. The money quote:
As if to drive the point home, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a gag order this week telling all private companies participating in the Medicare Advantage program to shut up. Violators would face fines and jail time. Forget the First Amendment.

The gag order was issued after Humana Corp. sent a letter to its policyholders who participate in Medicare Advantage telling them the facts about Obamacare’s effect on the program. The companies were ordered “to end immediately all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your website.”

The bureaucrats added this blunt threat: “Please be advised that we take this matter very seriously and, based upon the findings of our investigation, will pursue compliance and enforcement actions. ….”

Those, my friends, are the words of soft tyranny. How much longer before it becomes a hard tyranny?

Reforms that increase liberty, freedom, choice, and options from the Cato Institute.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Supply, Demand, and Price

As a schoolboy, I was taught that demand has a direct relationship to price, and that supply has an inverse relationship to price. Chances are very good that you were taught the same. And it's important to know how supply and demand affect price, but that is very far from being the whole story. Price affects supply and demand, as well.

The Laws of Supply, Demand, and Price

  • Increases in supply cause downward pressure on price.
  • Decreases in supply cause upward pressure on price.
  • Increases in demand cause upward pressure on price.
  • Decreases in demand cause downward pressure on price.
  • Increases in price tend to attract more resources to production.
  • Decreases in price tend to divert resources away from production.
  • Increases in price tend to reduce demand.
  • Decreases in price tend to stimulate demand.
When supply, demand, production, and price are all allowed to affect each other naturally, there is a constant trend towards equilibrium in all of them. Then, the things we want most are taken care of first, and as inexpensively as possible. Almost everything that is produced is bought and used.

This is the core of the free market system. Prices are allowed to move freely, so people know what use of their resources will bring them the most money. And, all other things being equal, that is what they do. It all works really well until somebody (that is, the government) starts meddling with prices.

EDIT: this really was too much to do at once. I have decided to break the giant wall of text into several posts.

In this series:
Supply, Demand, and Price | Price Caps | Price Supports | Restricting Supply | Excises | Subsidies

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Health Care Reform

I believe that the health care reforms being suggested are very, very bad. I have formed a deep and powerful mistrust of any government-run institution. For starters, there's Papa Ben's blanket statement that a bureaucracy cannot provide what is most needed, which is love. Further:
"Bureaucratic Rule of Two: Removal of an activity from the private to the public sector will double its unit cost of production." -- Thomas Borcherding, BUDGETS AND BUREAUCRATS: THE SOURCES OF GOVERNMENT GROWTH

I found this article thanks to a combox post over on Father Longenecker's blog. The author, David Goldhill, does an excellent job of explaining why our health care system is so dysfunctional.

A synopsis, if you think it's too long to read, boils down to the King of Id's Golden Rule: Who has the gold, makes the rules. We are not the ones who provide the gold, so we do not make the rules. Medicare, Medicaid, your HMO, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and other insurers are the ones who make the rules. And they make those rules, whether they mean to or not, to benefit themselves. Any benefit we receive is almost an accidental by-product.

I may not agree completely with Goldhill's proposed solutions; I have not yet given them enough thought. But I think he has his pinpointed the systemic root of the problems that most strongly draw our attention.

Global Warming and the Culture of Death

I've said before that anthropogenic global warming is touted primarily to increase the power of the government, by and for the culture of death. Chuck Colson seems to agree:
As I have said before on BreakPoint, for this kind of environmentalism, the problem is people. “Nature” can only thrive if human beings are diminished. It’s why a new study by the London School of Economics, revealingly entitled “Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost,” concludes that contraception is the most cost-effective way to reduce global warming.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pray for Reform

via Catholic Exchange.

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has asked that we pray that health care reform actually support human dignity, rather than being an offense against it. See this page on the Priests for Life site; in addition to praying for health care reform, you can offer up your rosaries for the conversion of President Obama. If you use facebook (I don't), you can also use the Facebook Page of his cause.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Obama's Health Care "Reform"

Everything that needs to be said about what we will get if this abomination becomes law has been said here. I'm going to include the headlines from Britain, which has long had the sort of health care that President Obama proposes. Just replace NHS or NICE with HHS, and you'll get the idea.


These headlines are the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds more just like them with very real people and very real lives behind each.


Make no mistake: If we don’t sink this Obamacare Titanic before it sets sail, we become the headline.


We needn't speculate. History is our crystal ball.


Also, some quotes regarding the nature of all legislative "reforms":

"The reformers say you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. But it's always someone else's eggs that get broken -- not the reformers'. And somehow the omelet never materializes." -- Harry Browne, LP Presidential Candidate in 1996 and 2000

Every attempt to add amendments that would require Congress and/or Federal employees to use the same system as is implemented by these bills has been defeated.
Dupont's Laws of Legislation:

Three: The titles of bills are often have little to nothing to do with their content.

Corollaries:
  1. When the bill's title contains "emergency," it is often in the writer's imagination.
  2. When the bill's title contains "reform," it is often to protect a vested interest.
  3. When the bill's title contains "service," it is often self-serving.
  4. When the bill's title contains "relief," it is often an additional burden on the taxpayer.
  5. When the bill's title contains "special," it is usually something that shouldn't (and otherwise wouldn't) pass.
Four: Sometimes the best law is no law at all. Not all ills are susceptible to correction by legislation.


Have I made it clear, yet, that I consider the proposals currently being considered in Congress would make very, very, very bad laws?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cap and Trade

From Catholic Exchange, a remarkably simple and useful explanation of Cap and Trade. The real kicker line, in my opinion, is this:
Indeed, from an economic standpoint, the C&T bill should be titled the “Raise the Cost of Living and Ship Jobs Overseas Act of 2009.”

Friday, July 10, 2009

More Blogrollin'

I may not have made this clear, but The Art of Manliness is a blog. Brett McKay recently posted a video that I've just found:



Proper use of knots is a very handy skill, and I am very grateful for the knowledge imparted to me in my youth. I grew up sailing. I had the idea that I knew all about knots -- how to tie them, and what each was used for. And, indeed, my knowledge is on par with many Cub Scouts. But the Taut Line and Sheet Bend are new to me. I sort of knew about the clove hitch, but it had never been properly explained before. The other four knots are the square, the two half hitch, the bowline, and the figure eight.

I urge you to get some line and practice any of these that are not familiar to you.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

Declaration of Independence





IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. ...


Read the entire document from link #10 on this page. Print a copy and read it at your family's celebrations.

Salute goes to Chuck Colson.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gay Adoption

Here's something our Cultural Elites will bury as deeply as they can, because it reveals how powerfully they are bound and allied to the Culture of Death. Don't read it unless you have a strong stomach.

Our cultural and political elites serve Moloch. This is just another example of them sacrificing children to the Culture of Death. Allowing homosexuals to adopt children is one more stream of children being led to the altar.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Blogrollin'

I need to mention a couple more blogs: Dr. Sanity, who documents psychological defense mechanisms at work in the media (something to pay attention to; it's worthless to debate somebody in the throes of narcissistic rage or an affect storm, and so very valuable to recognize those conditions), and neo-neocon, whose series, "A Mind is a Difficult Thing to Change," has absolutely riveted me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More Blogrollin'

I wandered through Anita Moore's V for Victory blog today; it's one I like but do not frequently read. She linked to a post about Life In Hell.

The similarities to Matt Groenig's indie comic strip are sobering. I'm glad I stopped seeing it after I left university.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Wrath of Khan

For those who forget, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan is the one where Spock dies. His dying words:

"The Needs of the Many Outweigh The Needs of the Few, Or the One."


That's collectivism in a nutshell, isn't it? But where does it lead us?

We, the many, need health care. Doesn't our need for healthcare outweigh the needs of the few who provide it? Doesn't that mean we should be able to force them to give it to us?

We, the many, need education for our children. Doesn't our need for their education outweigh the needs of the few who provide it? So shouldn't we be able to force them to give it to us?

And the same goes for shelter, food, and clothing, doesn't it? Don't the needs of the many who need these things outweigh the needs of the few who make them? Isn't it immoral for them to deny us what we so patently need, just in order to survive?

For each need that we decide to live this way, we're going to find a bunch of the providers will go into some other line of work where they aren't forced into servitude. And the remainder will get horribly squeezed and overworked, so that there isn't enough to go around. And then the government will start rationing to us the things we need, and whether we get what we need will no longer be in our hands. It will instead be in the hands of the few who have political power. And it is just sinful human nature that they will serve their needs first and leave us only with what they don't want or can't get away with keeping for themselves.

A man who went by the internet handle of Bear once said something on this which I think is very pertinent:

"As an ethical individual, I may decide to yield my rights for the good of the majority, but that decision should be mine, not the majority's."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Global Warming Hoax

from Catholic Exchange:

And how do you propose to regulate the earth’s temperature when as much as 3/4 of the variability is due to variations in solar activity, with the remaining 1/4 due to changes in the earth’s orbit, axis, and albedo (reflectivity)? This truly is “mission impossible.” Mankind can no more regulate earth’s temperature than the tides.

Even if the “greenhouse effect” were greater than it actually is, the EPA and Congress would be powerless to alter it for several reasons:

1. Human activity (according to NASA data) accounts for less than 4 percent of global CO2 emissions.

2. CO2 itself accounts for only 10 or 20 percent of the greenhouse effect. (This discloses the capricious nature of EPA’s decision to classify CO2 as a pollutant, for if CO2 is a pollutant because it is a greenhouse gas, then the most common greenhouse gas of all—water vapor, which accounts for almost 3/4 of the atmosphere’s greenhouse effect—should be regulated, too. The EPA isn’t going after water vapor, of course, because then everyone would realize how absurd climate-control regulation really is.)

3. Even if Americans were to eliminate their CO2 emissions completely, total human emissions of CO2 would still increase as billions of people around the world continue to develop economically.


The actual motivation behind the global warming scare is power, pure and simple. If one can demand that energy production be reduced, one can, in essence, demand that those of us who are not poor become so, and that the poor die earlier and more frequently.

In other words, it is the culture of death, all over again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

George Tiller

May God, the Infinitely Merciful, have mercy on his soul, and grant him salvation, if he was not too prideful to accept it.

The Western Confucian has the very finest analysis of what is important about Tiller's death I have seen yet:

Pro-life leaders are already falling over themselves to exclaim, “We are peaceful! We deplore this violence!”

Of course we are peaceful; that is why this horrific shooting in a church has immediately garnered national attention. It is precisely because we are peaceful that Dr. Tiller’s killing sticks out like a huge wart on an otherwise flawless complexion. If abortionists were gunned down every week, it would gather no more attention than crack dealers who are gunned down every week by fellow drug dealers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another Abuse Scandal

From the New York Times. Salute to Catholic Analysis. All emphasis is my own.

It exposes for the first time the scope of the problem in Ireland, as well as how the government and the church colluded in perpetuating an abusive system. The revelations have also had the effect of stripping the Catholic Church, which once set the agenda in Ireland, of much of its moral authority and political power.

The report singles out Ireland’s Department of Education, meant to regulate the schools, for running “toothless” inspections that overlooked glaring problems and deferred to church authority.

The report is based in part on old church records of unreported abuse cases and in part on the anonymous testimony of 1,060 former students from a variety of 216 mostly church-run institutions, including reformatories and so-called industrial schools, set up to tend to neglected, orphaned or abandoned children.

Most of the former students are now 50 to 80 years old.

Some 30,000 children were sent to such places over six decades, the report says, often against their families’ wishes and because of pressure from powerful local priests. They were sent because their families could not afford to care for them, because their mothers had committed adultery or given birth out of wedlock, or because one or both of their parents was ill, drunken or abusive. They were also sent because of petty crime, like stealing food, or because they had missed school.

Many of the former students said that they had not learned their own identities until decades later. They also said that their parents had unsuccessfully tried to reclaim them from the state.


The problem I see here, that the Times reporter does not, is this: that government and Church collaborated. I've said before that the Establishment Clause of the Constitution is far less to protect us from theocracy than it is to protect the independence of the Church from the State. Christ's power is made perfect in weakness. It's appropriate for the Church to protect her doctrines and conscience from the State as much as she can. But that sort of political power is a far, far thing from seeking the state's favors, and I can readily believe that these workhouses, orphanages and reformatories got money from the government in return for keeping children.

This sort of abuse, particularly the sexual element of it, makes Theology of the Body ever more important. I find myself in agreement with those who claim it is the neccessary and moral response to both Victorian repression and the libertinism of the so-called "sexual revolution."

More on Hatred

It's not enough to note that Carrie Prejean is now better-known than she would have been as Miss America; she also has new opportunities. She can be one of the foremost spokesmen for Defense of Marriage Activists worldwide, probably for as long as she likes, particularly given how charitable she has been in her response to Mr. Hilton. Solid formation on the Church's doctrines regarding same-sex attraction can only help, as they are far more nuanced and compassionate than the Church is ever given credit for being.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

On the Counterproductivity of Hatred

It is interesting to note that, thanks to the bitter, bilious vitriol of Perez Hilton, I now know far more about Carrie Prejean than I do about the last three women to win the crown of Miss America.

Way to shoot yourself in the foot, dude.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hot Diggety!!

I have just been added to Vir Speluncae Catholics' list of lay cave-dwellers! My traffic (which I refuse to track) is bound to increase. So, muchas gracias, Cavey!

If there's anything for which I pick on the Cavemen, it's a tendency not to display proper charity towards their enemies and God's (two lists with a lot of overlap). God wants us all converted and saved, even (especially!) those who hate Him.

If there is anything the Cavemen do for which I'm grateful, it is to express joyously the blessings of the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite. But for them, I might never have known.

I'm going over to Carolina Cannonball right now to put in my votes for her awards. The Cavemen definitely get my vote for "Best Church Militant Blog."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Linux Usage

Most people spend most of their time on a computer doing the following things: Browsing the Internet, chatting on instant messengers like AIM and the Windows Messenger, email, sharing and editing digital photos, and word processing. There are several Linux distributions, or distros, that handle these things (and web development) as well as they're handled in Windows, if not better.

It's been a long time since I've written about Linux, and quite a bit has changed. But some things remain the same.

What has changed? Well, driver availability is much better than it once was, though it still lags behind Windows and Mac OS. Gnome and KDE are much easier to use than they used to be. Ease of installation has increased by leaps and bounds, especially for Ubuntu (if you want a free install CD) or Linux Mint (a better choice if you are willing to download and burn the install CD yourself). Both have very helpful and friendly communities providing support. Switching over from Windows is far easier than it used to be, as well. Most of your favorite Windows programs have near equivalents in Linux, that do the same things, but only sometimes in the same way.

What hasn't changed? Linux is released under the GNU Public License. This means that you have a property right to the source code and software. Since property rights are the basis for a libertarian society, this is a huge benefit. Microsoft (and most software "sellers") makes sure that they, not you, retain all property rights.

A computer running Windows is more loyal to Microsoft than you than ever before; "Trusted" Computing and Digital Rights Management are the primary processes by which Microsoft maintains control over what you do with your computer. These issues are the core reasons I refuse to use Windows XP and any subsequent OS released by Microsoft. This article expands upon this and other reasons.

Linux has much lower system requirements than Windows Vista or XP, and can run ably on machines that were new when Windows 2000 came out.

If you are interested in trying Linux, there are several distros that are as easy to install as Windows. Installation is a bit more complex if you want to keep Windows on your computer, but it's not out of reach.

My first recommendation is Ubuntu. This is partly because Canonical will ship you a free CD-ROM to let you test-drive and install Ubuntu (called a Live CD). The other reason is that the user community is so large, friendly and helpful. (Check out this newbie's guide for an example.) When I have a problem with Ubuntu, I can stop mid-installation and check out the forums, the official documentation, the community wiki, and the Ubuntu IRC channel (connect to irc.freenode.net and /join #ubuntu ).

I am using Linux Mint right now. It is mostly Ubuntu with some added configuration and administration tools, and I think what the Linux Mint team has changed, they have changed for the better. You have to download the image file for the Linux Mint Live CD and burn it onto a CD-R yourself, but after that, I find it takes less effort to use than Ubuntu.

Ubuntu and Mint use the GNOME desktop by default. The other main desktop environment used in Linux is KDE, and many Windows users will prefer it. (Neither is really "better" than the other; it comes down to what you like.) Many distros come in both KDE and GNOME versions, but I think most are better at one than the other.

If you would rather try KDE, you have several options. There is Kubuntu, the KDE version of Ubuntu (and again, Canonical will ship you a free LiveCD). I think that Ubuntu is better with Gnome. There is SimplyMEPIS, a distro developed to help new users with setup and configuration, which is KDE. There is Mandriva. They have a Gnome version as well, but I think they have been doing KDE for longer. Mandriva has been oriented towards the new user for over 15 years. There is PCLinuxOS, which was originally based on Mandriva. I used PCLOS for two years, and it was always better than Windows for anything to do with the internet. Just as I think of Linux Mint as a more polished version of Ubuntu, I think of PCLOS as a more polished version of Mandriva. I still would be using PCLOS if I didn't want to keep playing World of Warcraft. PCLOS had only KDE to start, but some reviewers think the latest Gnome version is better.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Blogrollin' again

On the supposition that there are people who would prefer my blog to Bill Donaghy's, what's wrong with you?

I never come up with fabulous stuff like this.

"I'm from the government, I'm here to help"

The cavalier use of brute government force has become routine, but the emerging story of how Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke forced CEO Ken Lewis to blow up Bank of America is still shocking. It's a case study in the ways that panicky regulators have so often botched the bailout and made the financial crisis worse.

In the name of containing "systemic risk," our regulators spread it. In order to keep Mr. Lewis quiet, they all but ordered him to deceive his own shareholders. And in the name of restoring financial confidence, they have so mistreated Bank of America that bank executives everywhere have concluded that neither Treasury nor the Federal Reserve can be trusted.

Mr. Lewis has told investigators for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that in December Mr. Paulson threatened him not to cancel a deal to buy Merrill Lynch. BofA had discovered billions of dollars in undisclosed Merrill losses, and Mr. Lewis was considering invoking his rights under a material adverse condition clause to kill the merger. But Washington decided that America's financial system couldn't withstand a Merrill failure, and that BofA had to risk its own solvency to save it. So then-Treasury Secretary Paulson, who says he was acting at the direction of Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, told Mr. Lewis that the feds would fire him and his board if they didn't complete the deal. ...

The Wall Street Journal


The title of this post was described by President Ronald Reagan as some of the most frightening words in the English language. Gun owners and dealers have long known that the Federal regulators who oversee them are the enemy; it looks like bankers have now learned the same hard truth.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Angels and Demons

As anyone who heard about The Da Vinci Code could reasonably expect, Ron Howard and Dan Brown are again claiming that their latest project, Angels and Demons, is in no way anti-Catholic, and that our indignation at their portrayal of the Church is silly.

The Curt Jester skillfully skewers this conceit.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Imagine ....

This humor column by Tom Purcell is funny because we know how close he hits to the mark.

Now, is there really any reason to think that "the Department of Government-Backed GM Warranties" would be too much different from, say, "the Department of Government Funded Health Insurance"?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day

Today is the deadline for filing US income tax forms.

One of the most telling scenes from the Tom Clancy novel where he had Jack Ryan as the new President was where Ryan's Secretary of the Treasury had the ENTIRE FEDERAL TAX CODE brought before the Congressional committees that oversee such things. The pile of books and documents was so massive that it destroyed the table, before they even got it all on there. Given Clancy's penchant for exhaustive research, I have no doubt that this is an accurate representation of the sheer verbiage regarding taxation and revenue to be found in the Federal Register.

It is not possible for the tax code to be so vast without those corrupt politicians who are drawn to the power that legislators wield inserting laws and regulations that favor themselves and those who contribute to their coffers.

It really needs to be scrapped, and completely. I doubt very much that the people in Congress will let the power cravings which drew them into that job be thwarted in that manner. I understand more and more why Claire Wolfe believes that it is too late to save our current system, though I must agree when she says it is too early to start shooting the bastards.

I also understand why the Catholic Church has never regarded democracy as much of a friend to the people. Democracy led to anti-Catholic purges in The Vendee. Democracy isn't much of a friend to the Catholic Church now, except perhaps in Poland, Malta, and to some degree in Ireland.

There is no reliable guarantor of liberty in an amoral society.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Condoms and HIV

Anyone, regardless of which side they take in the debate about whether condoms are the best prophylactic against HIV, should start by reading the plethora of links in this post. There is a LOT of information to be had there.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Victory!!

I remember reading once that the only reason that Star Wars didn't win the Oscar for Best Picture in 1976 was that so quintissentially American a picture as Rocky came out the same year.

But Rocky is not so much quintessentially American as it is Christian. Christ's victory comes only through His destruction at the hands of His enemy. If He had not died, then He cannot be risen. If He is not risen, then there is no ressurrection. Without His ressurrection, there is no victory over sin and death.

The exultation and glory we feel when Rocky Balboa returns to again challenge and then defeat Apollo Creed, is but a pale, blurred and indistinct shadow of the exultation and glory we feel in the Resurrection of Christ.

And it is because Rocky Balboa is a type of Christ, one whose victory over his opponent is born of his defeat at the same opponent's hands, that Rocky is so powerful a film.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Profile in Heroism

Salute to NYPD Green, of the Catholic Cavemen.

Would that all of our clergy would confront the egregious evils tolerated and even celebrated in our society with the courage of Karl Malden's Father Barry, in On the Waterfront.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Two Americas

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This article documents the accelerating decline of the rule of law.

More and more, I am beginning to think that F. Paul Wilson's An Enemy of the State is a work of prophecy.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Genocide In America

I've commented on this before.

Noting the statistics on abortion of African Americans, Rev. Hoye writes: "Brothers, in Black America alone every seventy-two seconds a black baby is murdered in the womb of his or her mother. This holocaust is genocidal to the point that today a black child has less than a fifty-percent chance of being born. According to the 2006 U.S. Census, Black Americans are below the replacement level.

"In other words, death in Black America outpaces life. Abortion alone accounts for three times more deaths in our community than HIV/AIDS, Violent Crimes, Accidents, Cancer, and Heart Disease combined. There is no question pre-natal murder, abortion, is the number one issue in not only Black America, but in all of America today."


Read more here. Read the entire letter here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pius XII and the Jews

I left the religious and political debate community mentioned in the Obligatory Journey Post over a debate on infallibility. That debate was what first led me to formulate the argument used in my post here, Regarding Doctrine.

After I made that argument, the debate quickly degenerated into an endless series of ad hominem attacks against every member of the Catholic clergy and religious to make the news for their grave and egregious sins. I am very sorry that I wasn't wise enough to point out that these were in fact ad hominem attacks, that the sinfulness of the clergy has nothing to do with whether the Church's doctrines are correct, and that the burden of proof was on the other person to demonstrate that the evil those people did was in fact supported by Catholic Doctrine, rather than letting stand my opponent's contention that their vows of obedience to the Church were prima facie evidence that everything they did was supported by Church doctrine. Instead, to my lasting regret, I made the mistake of trying to defend the indefensible. This mistake made the debate so horrible for me that I left the community over it.

Perhaps part of the reason I found myself on this path is that one of the first victims of these attacks was Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII. The attack against him was the libel first accepted because of Rolf Hochhuth's defamatory play, The Deputy: that Pope Pius XII had been deliberately silent regarding the Shoah, because he was an anti-Semite.

I was able to refute this argument quite easily, even then. Between Rabbi David G. Dalin, Professor Ronald J. Rychlak, and Sir Martin Gilbert, there was plenty of material from non-Catholic sources. From learning about Pope Pius XII's actions during WWII, and from reading his encyclicals regarding the Third Reich (particularly Mit Brennender Sorge, which he wrote for his predecessor), I came to love him greatly. It gives me heartache that the lies against him are so much more widely believed than the truth.

One of the most telling arguments I had was a pair of maps.

This one shows where the NSDAP got their votes in 1932:



This one shows where the 1934 census found Catholics:



Still, it would have been very nice, back then, to have had this article on Catholic Exchange, which cites and quotes much of the historical evidence (and here I mean testimony of his contemporaries) that Pope Pius XII was one of the best friends that Jews had, during the Shoah. My love for the Jew-loving Pope (as he was called by his NSDAP enemies) drives me to post these links.

Monday, March 30, 2009

More Blogrollin'

Salute to the Western Confucian, as he does it again: I sincerely hope that each and every law enforcement officer and member of the armed forces would take this oath, and defend these principles.

Needless to say, I'm cross posting this to the Catholic Cavemen and adding them to the blogroll.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Splendid LOL!

In case I haven't made it clear, LOLSaints has become one of my favorite blogs. This post should make it clear why; to get the joke, pay close attention to the color coding.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Still No Material of My Own

Salute to The Western Confucian

I hope everyone reads this article by Walter E. Williams, and then writes their state legislators, urging them to follow his suggestions. I have been trying to imagine how we could put some teeth into the Ninth and Tenth Amendments for some time. They are vital safeguards of liberty, but our courts have made them dead letters in American jurisprudence for far too long.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Further Blogrollin'

I'm not playing b/c downloading the 3.1.0 Patch to Wrath of the Lich King is a demanding enough from my processor that I'm unwilling to try playing at the same time. As a result, I'm catching up on lots of blogs.

This two-hour video, suggested by the Western Confucian, is something I'd like to see -- IF I could download it via torrent. My family isn't crazy about somebody using all the bandwidth for extended periods of time. If you know where a bit torrent seed can be found, please mention it in the comments.

Kudos to Fr. Longenecker

I want you to go and read this excellent post by Fr. Dwight Longenecker, explaining and defending Christian Patriarchy. It's really long, but the payoff is most certainly worth it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kudos to Eegah

EEgah, Inc. has produced a supremely timely post about the culture of death. Who would have thought so lousy a film as Cherry 2000 could be so prescient?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Best of 2008

Clearly I've been having a dry spell. I won't go into the reasons for it. But I suppose I can once again make my first post of the year, a review of the year that's just past.

Last year didn't have many posts, so I'm not aiming for a top ten list. I'm just going to put up a link list for the best posts, in my own opinion, in reverse chronological order.

The Vital Issue
First Principles
Salvation for ET?
On Serving
The Blegroll
Too Funny To Not Post
Paying to Starve the Poor
Abortion
Spiritual Malaise

And, just because: The Best of 2007