How Much Do You Have to Hate Someone Not to Proselytize?

Francis Schaeffer on the Origins of Relativism in the Church

One of My Favorite Songs

An Inspiring Song


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

His Philness's Experience with Evolutionists

I found his experience interesting because it so closely tracks with mine.
Finally after several weeks of silent note-taking, I summoned the courage to ask about abiogenesis; and the second law of thermodynamics; and the presence of intelligent, ordered data in DNA; and the scarcity of intermediate forms in the fossil record; and whatnot. I didn't raise those questions all at once, but over a period of two weeks or so. I gradually got to the point where I suppose I was asking a question or two every day.

And something very quickly became obvious: this guy had no good answers to the hard questions. He had never really thought through those issues. He was a doctrinaire evolutionist whose presuppositions were dogmatically atheistic, and he had never seriously considered any arguments against his views. When I (and soon others) began to question his claims, he knew he was in over his head. His cool braggadocio gave
way to agitated frustration.

So for three weeks he brought in a guest lecturer from the department of geosciences at the University of Texas in Dallas. And you know what? That guy had no sensible answers either. All the two of them could do was mock and fulminate against whoever was raising the questions.
Anymore, I seldom wind up arguing with evolutionists. I consider the whole thing ridiculous, and my experience with them is generally the same: question their paradigm, and they just get this bug-eyed look on their faces and move right past argumentation and into bluster and insult.

One of the best--that is, funniest--encounters I had was with a lady whom I asked, "Of the different theories of evolution (I can think of five without difficulty), to which one do you subscribe, and why do you think that the evidence for it falsifies the others?"

Her answer--I kid thee not--was, "The one the scientists believe."

She was an ardent evolutionist, yet did not know enough about the subject to know that there are competing theories of evolution. She was darn sure that I was wrong, though. The pitiful part is that she was (presumably still is) so darn typical...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We're Missing the Basic Ingredient

Thomas Sowell recently wrote, emphasis mine:
When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics. Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

"Useful idiots" was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive. In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.
I must note in passing that I take mild issue with Dr. Sowell's rather loose use of the term "democracy"--the United States is not, at least on paper, a democracy, democracy was virtually an epithet to the Founding Fathers, a system they more or less equated with mob rule--but his fundamental point is absolutely critical: our system of government, to function as intended, relies implicitly on a reasonably informed and thinking citizenry. As I have done before, I point to The Federalist Papers as something of an "exhibit A". This book was written by James Madison, aka "the father of the Constitution," Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, to explain--to sell, in a way--the proposed constitution to the citizens of the state of New York, whose support would be critical in the battle for ratification. It is a document critical to understanding how our government is supposed to work. It was first published, essay by essay, in the newspapers, for the general public. I noted, when I first started reading it, that the authors did such things as make casual reference to the Peloponnesian War and the history of democracy in Athens in making their arguments.

These days? I like to think that I am reasonably intelligent, and I was, on paper at least, an excellent student in our government schools. I am prepared to swear that we never, ever broached the subject of The Federalist Papers when I was in school, and as far as knowing anything about the Peloponnesian War or democracy in Athens, you might as well have been dreaming. Nor were my parents, or even my grandparents, familiar with these documents. I asked. They never heard of them. Neither have the vast majority of people I have asked.

Now, I am prepared to concede that more people are taking an interest in our Constitution now than I have ever seen, and I couldn't help but note, when I got the link from Amazon, that it seems that The Federalist Papers is available in more editions than I have ever seen, so, yes, the situation is improving, but will it improve fast enough?

And then there's economics. I do not, friends, pretend to be an economist. But I do know the difference between a profit and a profit margin, and I do have a grasp of just what a tariff is, and what income taxes are, and what the Fair Tax is, and what a value-added tax is, and the overall effects of each on an economy. This information is not arcane, and it is not hard to find. Any idiot can have this knowledge for the "cost" of checking a few books out of the library and reading them.

My question to you is this: what percentage of the American voting public, do you think, could even begin to discuss those issues reasonably intelligently? I think if you are not unjustifiably optimistic, you will have to say that it is very small--almost vanishingly small. For decades now, the American population at large has simply not concerned itself with the nuts and bolts of government and economics. We do not have an informed citizenry. It will take years, if not decades, to build one. Yes, we appear to have possibly turned a corner, in that more people are becoming aware of the need to do something about this, but it will take time to shift the direction of so massive an object as the American electorate. I am not at all sure that we will be able to change course in time to avoid hitting the iceberg, so to speak, because when it comes right down to it, too many people, if they read at all, prefer to read romance novels, Hollywood gossip, lightweight science fiction and fantasy, and graphic novels rather than anything dealing substantively with issues and ideas. They prefer to escape the issues rather than equip themselves to deal with them.

And then, they will have the audacity to complain about the results they get.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Presuppositionalism in as Small a Nutshell as I Can Make

Every so often, someone actually takes the trouble to read the material about li'l ol' moi that I've linked to in the sidebar, and sometimes they notice that I'm a "presuppositionalist." Not having ever heard of such a thing before--relatively few people outside a seminary, and often not even within one, would be familiar with the term--they rush off to the Almighty Google, wind up with the Wikipedia article, seize upon some aspect of presuppositionalism that, on the surface, sounds outrageous, and then, without actually having grasped anything substantive about the subject, react to the idea of my presuppositionalism in much the same way one might react to the news that someone ate babies for breakfast.

It's really kind of amazing to watch.

Look, presuppositionalism is not, really, that big a deal. I am going to put the idea as simply as I can, in as small a space as I can, and maybe that will help the occasional person googling for the term out a bit.

Presuppositionalism is a variety of Christian apologetics--an approach, that is, that some Christians take to arguing for the truth of the Christian position. There are other varieties of apologetics. There is what some call evidentialism, which is, as you might have guessed, arguing from the available evidence--the evidence from the physical world, from history, and so forth. Then there is what some call Schaeffer's apologetics, which I think of as a variant of presuppositionalism. All have their uses, in my opinion. I can do the evidentialist thing. I have done it--done it well enough that I've left the people I was arguing with discussing things with practically fuming with impotent frustration. The evidence for Christianity is really very convincing and hard to refute if you give it a decent look. However, I have also had the experience of doing the evidentialist thing and finding, at the end of hours of discussion, my conversational partner saying, "I cannot refute your argument, but I still won't believe it!" Clearly, belief in the gospel doesn't just come down to the evidence. There is a lot more to that particular subject, though, and I don't propose to treat of it here; all I am saying in this space is that evidentialism alone isn't a completely adequate apologetic approach--hence my interest in presuppositionalism.

The big idea in presuppositionalism is that we all make certain assumptions--presuppositions--in our thinking and that there are logical consequences to those presuppositions. For instance, in writing this post, I do so presupposing that someone might read it, that someone might understand it, and so forth. One opens one's eyes on the presupposition that, under normal circumstances, one will be able to see. To try to make someone happy is to operate on the presuppositions that happiness exists and that people can experience it, and so forth. You get the idea so far?

The same kind of thing applies to religious thinking. If you start with the idea that there is no God, or that God is of this nature or that nature, there are certain necessary logical consequences to those presuppositions. For instance, if the universe that exists today did not start intentionally, with a creator God, then it necessarily follows that it started unintentionally. If there is no creator, then there is no creator's plan; the universe and everything in it are unplanned. You are unplanned, a mere accident of existence, as is everything about you and around you. Likewise, if God is impersonal, or panentheistic, or there are multiple gods, each of those have certain necessary logical consequences.

Still with me? Good. I thought so.

As far as the Christian presuppositionalist is concerned, it is impossible for certain things--many presuppositionalists would say anything--to make decent sense without the presupposition that the material in the Bible is actually true. It is not possible to make a good case for personality arising from a godless, impersonal universe. In a godless, impersonal universe, there is logically no purpose for love; it merely happens to have arisen by accident and proven to be a successful adaptive behavior. It becomes extremely difficult to talk about good and evil without appealing to some transcendant standard like that found in the will of a God. And so forth. The Christian presuppositional apologist will do his best to note the logical consequences of his conversational partner's presuppositions and point them out. We argue that if you start with God and His revelation in the Bible, the universe makes sense; if you don't, it doesn't and you don't.

And there it is in a nutshell. There have been whole books written on the subject, and I have necessarily been brief and probably not done the subject justice, but that should be enough for you to see that presuppositionalism isn't quite the bogeyman that some people make it out to be.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Penn Jillette on How Christians and Muslims React to Criticism

Robert Spencer quotes Penn Jillette, from an interview in Las Vegas Weekly:
Teller and I have been brutal to Christians, and their response shows that they're good ----ing Americans who believe in freedom of speech. We attack them all the time, and we still get letters that say, "We appreciate your passion. Sincerely yours, in Christ." Christians come to our show at the Rio and give us Bibles all the time. They're incredibly kind to us. Sure, there are a couple of them who live in garages, give themselves titles and send out death threats to me and Bill Maher and Trey Parker. But the vast majority are polite, open-minded people, and I respect them for that....
And what, you might wonder, did he have to say about the religion of pieces Islam, since we all know that all religions teach the same basic moral values?
... we haven't tackled Islam because we have families...I think the worst thing you can say about a group in a free society is that you're afraid to talk about it...
And there you have it, folks: two religions that, obviously, teach the same basic moral values, and clearly reacting in the same broad-minded fashion to criticism...

Ah, no, that's not it...

Actually, there's a heckuva difference...

And even atheist Penn Jillette knows it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Center is Not as Safe as You Think It Is

I've been meaning to write a short bit about this for some time, and may yet, but in the meantime, Phil Johnson offers a thought similar to the ones I've been having:
...this week they've been discovering what any highway engineer will tell you: on a freeway where heavy traffic is moving at high speed in opposing directions, there's no such thing as "common ground." Furthermore, you won't get very far pretending the yellow line is the common-ground marker. You're liable to get clobbered by traffic from both sides.
More often than not, when someone consistently tells me they're in the "center," that they're a "centrist," or a "moderate," it seems to me that what is actually going on is that they simply don't want, in taking a clear and definable position, for their ideas to be subject to attack from those who don't agree with them. They don't want to--it seems to them, anyway--spend their lives arguing, so they decide that they're going to be a centrist or moderate. Surely moderates can at least get along with everyone, right?

Not really. It's a good way to wind up roadkill. People just think you won't make up your mind.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Fraud, Waste, and Abuse"

I'm sure you're aware that the plan--the perennial plan--to keep Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacare expenses under control is to stop "fraud, waste, and abuse."

I'm sure there is a lot of that going on, actually. Huge amounts of government money? What kind of people do you suppose might be attracted to that?

But there's more to the story. Because of the nature of my employment, I see certain things that you might not see. For instance, you would not believe--would NOT believe--the number of people in the state of Oklahoma who get, largely at government expense, various incontinence products. That is, we the people buy a heck of a lot of pull-ons and diapers and underpads. Now, obviously, somebody has to supply them. Suppliers, shockingly, are in the business to make money.

The Oklahoma Medicaid folks just gave the suppliers a week's notice that the reimbursement rates for those items are going to be slashed. They were already whisker-thin. The upshot is that some companies will go out of business and some will end up supplying all their clients with crappy, low-quality items, as that will be all that Medicaid will pay for. There will no longer be the option of choosing between, say, Depends and another brand. It will be, "Take what you get."

In the longer run, I expect this will cause some consolidation, as the companies that can order in the largest quantities will get the lowest prices, they will be able to compete, and the smaller companies will end up taking the bullet.

In one respect, that is fine: lowest cost, and after all, beggars can't be choosers. On the other hand, anyone connected with this business knows that the smaller companies are the ones that actually have the flexibility (and often the attitude) to genuinely help their clients.

This kind of thing is rampant. Reimbursement rates for oxygen have been slashed, and already it is very difficult for all but a few companies to make money on it. Same thing with home hospital beds and so forth.

And, of course, you've heard that the reimbursement rates for doctors have to be "fixed" every year (hence the infamous term, "doc fix"), or rather a lot of doctors would simply stop treating Medicare patients.

Now, my personal opinion is that if government had just stayed out of all this from the beginning, things'd be much better off. My point isn't, "spend more money," not at all. It isn't there, for one thing.

No, I'm just trying to tell you that this kind of thing is what your government officials are actually talking about when they talk about stopping "fraud, waste, and abuse." They aren't going to seriously step up efforts to do that, and even if they did, I guarantee you that the crooks would just get cleverer. What they are actually going to do, what they are doing now, is simply demand that suppliers supply services at ever-lower reimbursement rates, driving some companies out of business and generally providing less care and lower quality to the consumers, and they are going to tell you that this is fighting "fraud, waste, and abuse."

So, now you know. Remember that the next time some government official tells you that bullsnort story about "fraud, waste, and abuse."

Oh, and don't forget, while they're cutting the money for Grandma's depends and oxygen, they are still full steam ahead on providing prenatal care for pregnant illegal aliens!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If You're Even Remotely Interested in Karate Punching... need to read this post. Seriously.

I have never, outside of RyuTe, been shown how to punch this way. The only thing that has come even remotely close is Kiyoshi Arakaki's instructions in The Secrets of Okinawan Karate: Essence and Techniques. Everybody, everywhere, starts out with "make a tight fist."

Interestingly, Arakaki says that Nagamine Shoshin showed him how to punch very similarly to this (though not identically), but in Nagamine's book, he tells the student, "Make a tight fist."

And you don't think some teachers hold back crucial information?

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Leftist Track Record

Let's see: leftist policies led to long lines, low productivity, shortages, severe and widespread pollution, poverty, mass murder, and oppression for the Soviet Union. It worked so well for so long that they have repudiated it and are rebuilding themselves, at least according to Stanislav, along mercantilist lines.

Leftist policies led to long lines, low productivity, shortages, severe and widespread pollution, poverty, mass murder, and oppression for China, and China has opened the door to progressively greater and greater market freedom.

Leftist policies work so well that the North Koreans have been known to strip the bark off trees for food.

Leftist policies work so well that people routinely braved likely death to escape via boat from the hellhole of Vietnam.

Leftist policies work so well that the Coast Guard must routinely intervene to save people who've risked likely death to escape from the hellhole of Cuba Castro's workers' paradise.

Leftist policies have Greece teetering on the edge of defaulting on its debt and plunging into widespread societal chaos.

And now, leftist policies have brought Venezuela corruption, oppression, rampant inflation, steep recession, and food shortages when there are tons of food rotting in government warehouses.

And what's the reaction of Leftists in America? Is it to say, "Whoa! Better back off from that!" ?

Is it to say, "Time to re-evaluate our core beliefs"?

Is it to say, "Hmmmm. Maybe those right-wingers knew more than we thought" ?

Is it to say, "What the heck were we thinking?" ?


Instead, what they spend their time doing is nudging America further in the same direction that has led to ruination for country after country, all the while demonizing their opposition as out-of-the-mainstream extremists! They do their darnedest to move the center further and further to the ruinous left, and then have the nerve to complain that their opponents aren't centrists! They champion the same policies that have brought whole nations to their knees and criticize their opponents for their alleged insensitivity to the poor--the poor that leftist policies indisputably create in massive numbers! They attribute any opposition to policies that have killed millions upon millions of people and impoverished countless millions more to racism, sexism, and greed!

They look upon the ruin of nations, and say, "Gotta git us some o' THAT!"

They remind me so very, very much of someone:

Frustrating. VERY frustrating. And the sickest thing is, these people always act so grievously dadgum offended when the truth is told about them and their ideas.
The inevitable response from someone after one of these posts is always something along the lines of, "Yeah? Well, you guys turn into Nazis!" Look, just take a look at the truth about fascism before you start flapping your gums about it, okay?

Yes, Virginia, the leftists really do own the major murderous ideologies of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries--lock, stock, and barrel.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Strength Still Matters

I mentioned to my boss the other day that I was thinking about training for the Tulsa Run (15K, or just over 9 miles, for those of you not familiar with the event). Not that I'm planning on burning up the course, mind you; it's probably been 9 or 10 years since I last ran that race. Still, I'm not totally out of shape, thanks to RyuTe. I'm pretty sure that by mid-October, I'll be doing short runs--say 2 miles--on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at a pretty good clip, and a nice, relaxed long run of 6 or 7 miles on Saturdays. Then, on race day, a nice relaxed 9 miles.

I kind of like running. I'm not a fanatic, but I kind of like it, and it's been too long. But that's not the only reason I'm thinking about doing this. As I said to my boss, in the event of some sort of public disturbance or disaster, I'd kind of like to have the option of putting two quick miles between me and whatever sort of squatstorm is coming down.

You know what el jefe said? He said I ought to plan on doing that emergency run with one under each arm, meaning, of course, that I might be carrying the three-year-old and the eight-year-old (I guess he expects the 21-year-old, the 17-year-old, and mi esposa to fend for themselves).

You know what else? He might be right, and that put me in mind of something I've thought of many times: in martial arts, in self-defense, in life-protection arts, we strive for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. We don't want to rely on muscle power for a technique to work because there is always someone stronger than we are. Considered purely from the perspective of executing martial arts techniques against an attacker, that is a good way to approach things, too. But as time has gone on, it has grown more apparent to me that we neglect the strengthening of our bodies at our peril. There's just more to life protection than defense against violent attacks.

What if you find yourself having to shove rubble aside in order to get yourself or someone else to safety?

What if you're caught in a flash flood and have to lift some little ones into the branches of a tree? And then climb it yourself?

What if the smartest self-defense option you have is to rabbit--that is, to run?

Once you start thinking about it, it's easy to come up with scenarios wherein muscle and endurance matter more than martial arts skill.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Muslim "Tolerance": Coming to Your Town Soon?

I mean, it's already come to Dearborn, just like we said it would.

You would-be dhimmis and multi-culti proponents just watch: wherever Muslims become sufficiently numerous, they will demand special privileges and preferential treatment under the law, and they will do their level best to suppress, by any means they can get away with, views contrary to their own. It's what we said would happen in Michigan, it's what is happening there, and it is what is happening in France and in England and anywhere else that the Muslim population is burgeoning.

But you'll hide your head in the sand and pretend that it isn't happening, won't you?


Friday, June 18, 2010

The Short and Painful Truth About Taekwon-do

Depending on your view of a certain word, there may be a mild language issue with the following. My usage is technically correct.
I just read, in a forum elsewhere, some comments about taekwon-do and karate that were absolutely painful to read.

Now, before I carry on, let me make something clear: I am not trying to "run down" taekwon-do. I trained in taekwon-do for some few years, a long time ago. Was 1st gup (kyu) when I left, as a matter of fact (for the uninitiated, that means my next test would have been for first-degree black belt). If I lived in some part of the country where the only martial arts instruction available to me was in taekwon-do, I would certainly enroll and make the best of it.

My annoyance is only with the relatively painful ululations of those taekwon-do practitioners who have bought, hook, line, and sinker, into the mythology perpetrated by so many taekwon-do organizations, and I seek only to utter a small corrective.

Taekwon-do is not the modern form of some centuries-old Korean battlefield martial art.

Taekwon-do is not "super karate," which is the way one local chain used to refer to it.

Taekwon-do is not even, in my opinion, despite much bloviating to the contrary, a blend between Japanese karate and an art indigenous to Korea, called "tae kyon."

It's bastardized Shotokan, that's what it is. Look, Choi Hong Hi was a nidan in Shotokan, and I defy you--flatly defy you--to identify any significant differences between Shotokan and the taekwon-do you'll see in older books like Duk Sung Son's (which is, of course, actually named "Korean Karate") and Jhoon Rhee's old series. In the old days, the Koreans used to actually use the Okinawan forms--which, of course, were the forms used in Shotokan. I have found that some taekwon-do teachers have actually gone back to those forms.

Some years back, the Koreans decided, apparently, to go over almost completely to the sport side of Korean karate taekwon-do, and gradually made modifications that have, shall we say, stripped it of much of the combat power that Shotokan had. In other words, yes, unless you are lucky enough to find a taekwon-do school that's still teaching taekwon-do as it was taught back in the sixties, taekwon-do is bastardized Shotokan.

Again, I'm not trying to run it down. If that's all that's available to you, or you happen to like it (and millions of people do), by all means, go for it. I just get mildly annoyed every so often at some of the pretentious nonsense I read about it.

It's Just a Wafer-Thin Mint*

Courtesy of a Facebook friend:

*The title is an extremely sarcastic reference to a wickedly appropriate Monty Python bit. Those who've seen the film will get it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Here's a Quote o' the Week For Ya!

In an interview with Diana West, one of the few people 'mongst the punditry that has the nasty habit of asking the right questions 'bout the religion of pieces Islam, Andrew C. McCarthy, author of The Grand Jihad, said:
Freedom of conscience simply means that government cannot enslave our minds. We are free to believe whatever we choose to believe. That has never meant, though, that our beliefs are beyond inquiry – that they may not be criticized and regarded as foolish or dangerous. And our law has always made a sharp distinction between thought, which is free, and action inspired by thought, which may be regulated: a neutral law of general application (i.e., not targeting any religion and literally governing everyone’s conduct) must be followed even if it burdens one’s religious practices. Thus, for example, you can believe peyote has spiritual significance, but if you try to use it in your religious rituals you will be in violation of the narcotics laws. There is no religion exemption for the distribution or consumption of illegal drugs, any more than there would be for, say, human-sacrifice.

Similarly, we don’t try to stop Muslims from believing that sharia is Allah’s mandatory prescription for the good life. But many of sharia’s provisions are antithetical to our law and our culture – beginning with its bedrock presumption that people are not free to make law for themselves, irrespective of sharia. You are entitled to your belief system, and to my respect for your right to your beliefs. But that’s all. You are not entitled to my respect for your beliefs themselves. And still less are you entitled, by labeling your beliefs “religion,” to have your beliefs enshrined in law or to have actions based on your beliefs insulated from law.

As for the Ground Zero mosque, it bears emphasizing that Americans are the most tolerant people on earth. We are not a Muslim country, yet there are over 2300 mosques in the U.S., including scores of them in the New York area, despite the fact that about 80 percent of American mosques are controlled by Muslim Brotherhood-tied Islamists who want the Constitution replaced by sharia.

Nevetheless, Muslims don’t have a right to put a mosque anywhere they choose to put one. That is not intolerance. It is common sense, decency, and national security. We would not permit a Shinto temple to be erected at Pearl Harbor. When Muslim terrorists have mass-murdered thousands of Americans at a site, it is wildly inappropriate even to consider building a mosque on that site – particularly when our enemies in the ongoing war (a) are supremacists waging a concurrent propaganda campaign against us and (b) have a history erecting their icons atop those of the peoples they intend to conquer.

If you want to talk tolerance, in Mecca and Medina, they not (only) refuse to permit the building of churches and synagogues; the Saudis do not even permit non-Muslims to enter. That is traceable directly to an injunction in the Koran (Sura 9:28). Why would we build a monument to intolerance in the name of tolerance?
The whole interview is da bomb. Read it. You really must.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

But, of Course, We Know Better Than the Father of Our Country Did, Don't We?

Here's what he had to say, emphasis mine:
Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections.—The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same Religion, Manners, Habits, and Political Principles.


Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion, and Morality are indispensable supports.—In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens.—The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them.—A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity.—Let it simply be asked where is security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.—Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure.—reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.—
’Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.—The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of Free Government.—Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?—
But what the heck did he know? Didn't he understand that "diversity is our strength?" Didn't he understand that you can have a nation of good people and good citizens, that you can have political liberty and freedom, without a widespread belief in God?

I mean, you really gotta wonder about that guy.


I swear, this is the simplest chicken recipe on earth. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take yourself a large baking sheet--one with a lip on it, for cryin' out loud. Cover the sheet with one layer of chicken leg quarters. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt, garlic powder, fresh-ground black pepper, and whatever other spicy perversions you're partial to. Bake the chicken for 90 minutes. It will come out sooooo tender, and darn tasty. It's so simple, if you can't successfully make this, all I can say is: God help you. You haven't got what it takes to cook diddlysquat. You better get out of the kitchen before you kill someone.

If you can't make this, you might as well just give up and DIE.

Goes well with Redneck "Spanish" Rice.

Redneck "Spanish" Rice

How did this dish get its name? Simple. One night, I described how I made Spanish rice to the students in my ESL (English as a Second Language) class. One fellow, named Daniel, looked at me in disbelief, hung his head, shook it back and forth, and just said, "That not riiiight." So I figured I'd better change the name, just so's not to confuse anyone.

Look, this is still a good, easy, simple way to make tasty, reasonably nutritious rice.

First, get yerself a rice cooker. This is the easiest way to cook rice I have ever seen. Aroma makes some good ones at very reasonable prices.

Then, get some long-grain brown rice. Trust me--the rice will be fluffier.

Cook the rice according to the cooker directions. In my case, it's basically two parts rice to three parts water--just depends on how much you want to cook, you know? Then you press the button and wait for about an hour (I told you it was easy).

When the rice is done, stir in your choice of salsa--as much or as little as you like.

That's it. Very easy, actually fairly tasty. Any moron could make it. And it's whole-grain.

What the heck else do you want?

Friday, June 4, 2010

One of the Problems with Multiculturalism

There's more than just one problem with multiculturalism, of course. But Professor Hanson notes one of particular interest:
For all the European talk of progressive attitudes about free speech, feminism and gay rights, such principles fade quickly when radical Muslims demand Sharia law, demonize homosexuals or threaten European cartoonists and novelists.
How far do you go with your tolerance and multi-culti crap? Do you embrace cultures that declare that your own deserves no tolerance? Do you embrace cultures within your midst that are determined to displace or destroy your own? As a practical matter, this is slow suicide. Some cultures are inimical to others. They simply can't coexist in any meaningful way.

Oh, I know what the multi-culti crowd actually does: it just declares that all those intolerant Muslims are the aberration, and that way, they can continue their own toleration of a culture that, historically, tolerates no others. Unless you want to think of "dhimmitude" as "tolerance."