Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book review: "Already Gone."

I'd been seeing a lot of press in the sources I follow about a new book by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer called "Already Gone," the premise of which is that there is something going on in the church leading to about 2/3 of young people leaving for at least some period of time in their twenties.

My wife and I received our copy today, and let's just say it's a quick read, especially for someone who's been trained in statistics. The first comment; yes, the statistics hold up; it does turn out to be statistically significant, if the data be true, that in various categories, those who attend Sunday School are actually slightly less likely to hold Biblical stands on any variety of issues. It also holds that a great portion of the disagreement by those who leave is about the issue of Creation, and that kids leave the church in middle school or high school--and simply make it official when they go out on their own for college.

Is the work Ham and Beemer started finished? Not quite; here are the statistics for acceptance of premarital sex, for example: 47.7% of non-Sunday school attenders said it was wrong, vs. only 40.8% of attenders. Statistically significant? Absolutely, but the nature of the statistics also demonstrates that there is a larger factor involved.

Hopefully someone picks it up. I do believe as well that Ham and Beemer give a big hint as to the 700 lb gorilla in the background; churches failing to help their members understand the depth and breadth of truly Biblical theology.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ben's (non) poetry translated and augmented

Presidentus nostrus twittus malus est.
Dicit stolidus verba Obama.

If logic were taught in schools,

....reporters in Sweden would instantly know that the 2 1/2 year old child of two feminists, whose parents refuse to tell what sex their child is, is a boy. Duh.

I pity that little guy, and hope that somehow he grows up right and becomes the next great middle linebacker for Da Bears, and one who (unlike Mr. Urlacher) embraces Biblical manhood, having about eight children and a wife who embrace Biblical family.

If you want to know what's wrong with Detroit

Read this. Michigan grocer/department store Meijer (one of the coolest stores on the planet, IMO) is apparently in negotiations to build a store in Detroit, and apparently it would not only be the biggest development in that city of nearly one million people in fifty years (it wouldn't be in my town of 16,000), but it would also be the first major grocer to open up shop there since 2007.

Want to fix Detroit? I suggest that getting the Mayor's (and the city council's) hands out of the matter would be a great start. Applying for a permit to build a store should not require "negotiations" any more than a permit for new windows.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Career update

I'm also looking into a new career; modeling hats for people with cancer. What do you think?

Seriously, it's for my Mom, of course; keep praying, as it's awfully rough to go through chemo for the third time. We simply rejoice that we can try to help a little bit, and I hope it looks better on her than it does on me. :^)

And I hope you don't have a loved one who needs one of these, but if you do, the good people at Blumenkinder Heirlooms (and the model above) can get you something you'll like.

And also seriously, interview today, which went well. So if you're out there looking and wondering if anyone is hiring, I know of at least one opening. (no I'm not telling you!) :^)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Proof of Solzhenitsyn's point

In his famous address at Harvard in the late 1970s, Alesandr Solzhenitsyn raised a bit of trouble by suggesting that a nation with only law, and not morality, common sense, and the like, was in trouble.

This Supreme Court case--about a teenage girl strip searched to find evidence of Advil--proves his point in my opinion. Whatever the legalities, what kind of idiot thinks that Advil is a threat to schools?

Apparently, school administrators and lawyers, by taking this one all the way to the Supreme Court, are the idiots, and I would dare suggest that this is yet another reason to keep your kids out of the government's schools. Do you want them to think this kind of thing is appropriate?

H/T Northern Muckraker and others.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A word to the wise

Cold Fusion Guy links a list of articles detailing predictions about how bad the recession is supposed to get, when it was supposed to ease, and one thing comes across very clearly; the econometrics gurus aren't doing so hot lately. So if you're thinking of taking their advise when starting a business, or especially when going into debt, a word to the wise; don't. Given that "man acts," as von Mises noted, prediction of the economy (especially by Keynesians) tends to be a fool's errand.

Especially since it's not just man who acts, but also God. I do not claim the gift of prophecy, but I have to wonder if a lot of this is His way of getting our attention.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Unintentionally hilarious

Just north of the border with Illinois along highway 39 in Wisconsin lies a plant that makes Hormel Chili, and a big banner on the side of the building announced they were celebrating 30 years of "quality and excellence."

Two words, of course, that no one with functioning taste buds should ever use to describe Hormel Chili, at least not without a "not" involved. If you want to know the limits of quality tools like Six Sigma, visit the Hormel factory near Beloit, or just open a can.

Or if you remember Hormel Chili, don't. You don't need to.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A true lady of the people

My wife's "American Sewing Guild" magazine notes that the fabric used for the dress Michelle Obama wore to the inauguration costs a cool $500/yard, and is only 33 inches wide. It's apparently a very nice Swiss woolen, and (my guess) her dress had at least five yards of the material in it. My guess is that many of us are buying pretty decent cars for less than Mr. Obama spent for his wife's dress.

Now I have nothing against fine fabrics, as I'm part owner of a business that sells them--though Blumenkinder Heirlooms doesn't have anything for $500/yard, or anywhere close to that. However, the silence of the same liberals who pilloried Gov. Palin for her wardrobe choices is deafening, and it's very interesting to see this same cast of characters chastising corporate America for taking prosperity for all it's worth while doing exactly the same thing themselves.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The very definition of chutzpah

...is a guy who's sucked on cancer sticks for three decades presuming to tell us about how we can be healthy. Good grief.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


$15,000 in delinquent dental bills (most likely from $25,000 to $70,000 in original cost, depending on insurance), breaking her foot while walking through the airport.....it sounds like Ms. Sotomayor has some serious health problems. I'm no doctor, but I do have to wonder whether it's an issue of her diabetes (type 1, childhood), or whether it's a question of how she's cared for herself, or not.

Put gently, I don't envy her financial situation, or her health. Yikes.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Here to help

Evidently, the actual numbers for unemployment are far worse than the Obama administration had predicted; more or less, far worse then "scary" prediction for "what happens if we don't stimulate the economy." In similar news, it's found that all the attempts to "stimulate" borrowing (by borrowing trillions out of private hands) are actually making the problem worse by pushing interest rates up.

Since apparently economics isn't taught at the schools Obama attended (that's why Galbraith taught at one of them, of course), I'll be glad to help people understand what's going on. When you increase the demand for money by running a $1,800,000,000,000 deficit (zeroes included for the benefit of those who skipped math class as well as econ during college), the market clearing price (interest rate) for borrowing goes up.

In the same way, when you take money from people who know how to make jobs for $100, 000 a position and give it to those (government types) who require $1,000,000 per position to create a job, the end result is that you will eliminate about 9 jobs for every million dollars spent.

Not coincidentally, about half a million people are losing their jobs every month. It's not rocket science, though it apparently is beyond the abilities of Mssrs. Obama (Blagojevich/Capone) and Geithner.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Evidently, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is sitting on $16000 in credit card debt, $15000 in unpaid (presumably delinquent) dental bills, and has only about $32000 in the bank. Despite decades of highly paid legal work, her net worth is only about that of Joe Biden's.

I can't prove specific instances of this, but I have to wonder whether a lot of the weird things coming out of the District of Columbia have something to do with people (Sotomayor, Joe Biden, Barack Blagojevich Obama, Norm Coleman, others) who don't know how to handle money, and lobbyists who know that they can get something done if they "help" with the situation.

And I can't figure out how someone runs up $15000 in dental bills. I'm pretty sure that government workers just might have pretty good insurance, so that kind of money ought to buy a set of false teeth or crowns in solid platinum. One would have to assume that this "wise Latina" desperately needed some lessons in brushing and flossing to go along with the lessons she and Barack Obama skipped about Article 1 of the Constitution, the purpose of law, and the 2nd Amendment.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ten reasons why I homeschool

Terry links a list of reasons not to homeschool, and quite frankly, as I look at the name-calling, unsubstantiated accusations, and preferences disguised as reasons, I once again realize that I want more for my children than this public (oops, "government") school teacher can provide.

Thank you, Mr. Scaccia, for making it very clear why something as important as education ought not be entrusted to anyone holding NEA or AFT membership. :^)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Chicago homicide rates

Commenter Jeremy A. did a great job of impersonating a Brady Campaign member by presenting some of the data for Chicago homicide; I did not see his attempt at humor, and hence responded as if he were genuine. Oops, and my apologies.

At any rate, if there are genuine "Brady" types out there reading this, here are murder rates by decade. Here also John Lott's analysis. It clearly shows that homicide rates in Chicago went up (opposite the national trend, just like in DC, and just like in New York City) after they implemented their gun ban.

So not only are gun bans unconstitutional (read the 2nd and 14th Amendments, as well as the Heller decision), they don't work.

Say what?

Evidently, the 7th Circus Court of Appeals has upheld Chicago's idiotic ban on handguns under the logic that the 2nd Amendment was not incorporated against the states by the 14th Amendment.

Despite the fact, of course, that this was one of the first things the 14th Amendment did, as it was intended to prevent former Confederate states from refusing firearm ownership to freed slaves. If you doubt this, see Akhil Reed Amar's book on the subject.

I'm sending a note to my Congressman asking for the removal of these judges. There is a point where judicial activism such as this becomes "bad conduct" that warrants their removal.

Recommended dining list

Right here. :^)

Be careful, though. For all the calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol that these dishes offer, they are in fact from chain restaurants, and may actually be lacking in crucial areas like real butter, real eggs, and real sugar. You can always count on corporate types to replace the real stuff with soybean and palm products, as well as corn syrup.

Seriously; while I am (as the grandson of a guy who died at age 59 from a massive heart attack) as interested in good health as most people, there is a certain point where one's food must have something called "taste." While sometimes that taste is actually improved in things that are good for you--pasture fed meats, blueberries, and dark chocolate--sometimes food needs a bit of saturated fat and sugar to be palatable. In such cases, one may often find that one actually turns out healthier when one enjoys something made with foods that are "bad for you," simply because you're actually satisfied and have enjoyed your meal.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Thoughts on the Tiller murder

Once again, I don't like the word "assassination" that many use. It doesn't seem to convey the same reality that the simple word "murder" does. Hopefully, if it's truly "murder one," the perpetrator gets a date with the executioner.

(it would not be murder one, perhaps, if the perpetrator was the father of a daughter victimized at Tiller's clinic, and that crime ignored by the state...but still definitely murder)

And so two other thoughts. First, who really killed all those 60,000 pre-born children that Tiller says he dismembered? Yes, Tiller, but also....all of us who treat sex as a game, and children as an "unfortunate consequence," bear blame as well.

And yes, there is a man out there who pulled the trigger. Hopefully he is in custody. There is also a state that failed to adequately prosecute Tiller's crimes, and at least one church that failed to recognize that Dr. Tiller was not just an abortionist; he was a doctor who was ignoring state laws about fetal viability verification and statutory rape. I would have hoped that even the most liberal of pastors would realize that when such laws are ignored, everyone's daughter (and son) is at risk.

Had the state and his church (or either one) risen to the occasion and disciplined Dr. Tiller, he might have had a chance to repent, and might have a decidedly different eternal outlook from the one he now suffers. Had our nation realized what we're doing with rampant encouragement of promiscuity, Dr. Tiller might have gotten a chance to get out of the profession he had.