Roundup

Two good iPhone apps recommended by my 83 yr. old father — Appygraph (send cards via text, with your pictures pasted in) and Heart Rate (you put your finger on the camera lens and it takes your pulse).  Apparently he’s the go-to guy for high tech.  And my 78 yr. old mom had him text a picture of something to her in a store.  Glad to see they are up on the latest things!

‘Revealing Heaven:’ Episcopal Pastor Details Hundreds of Near-Death Experiences, Backs Rob Bell — I know the author and have done prison ministry with him. I’m very disappointed at the direction he has taken. Rob Bell?! Ugh. I can’t see how he missed the obvious, namely that these things are demonic. Who would want to reassure people that everything is swell and they are definitely going to Heaven and don’t need to repent and believe?

The Post Resurrection Behavior of Jesus Eliminates the Possibility of an Imposter — a good refutation of a false theory about the resurrection.

The Atlanta Public School cheating scandal was immense in its breadth and duration, not to mention its recklessness.  This shouldn’t be a surprise, though.  Unionized bureaucrats and teachers rarely have the interests of the children at heart.  It is one more reason the “No Child Left Behind” and all other Federal initiatives are doomed to cause more problems than they solve.  Education funding and incentives should be as local as possible.  Federal initiatives are a waste that just lead to more corruption like this.

Fulton County prosecutors announced that a grand jury had indicted the Atlanta Public Schools’ ex-superintendent and nearly three dozen other former administrators, teachers, principals and other educators of charges arising from a standardized test cheating scandal that rocked the system.

Former Superintendent Beverly Hall faces charges including conspiracy, making false statements and theft because prosecutors said some of the bonuses she received were tied to falsified scores. Hall retired just days before the findings of a state probe were released in mid-2011. A nationally known educator who was named Superintendent of the Year in 2009, Hall has long denied knowing about the cheating or ordering it.

During a news conference Friday, Howard highlighted the case of Juwanna and another student, saying they demonstrated “the plight of many children” in the Atlanta school system.

Their stories were among many that investigators heard in hundreds of interviews with school administrators, staff, parents and students during a 21-month-long investigation.

Hmm. Turns out Karl Marx was just as smelly and personally useless as his modern-day acolytes!  The NY Times is honest about what Marx is like but doesn’t seem to get the current correlation:

The Karl Marx depicted in Jonathan Sperber’s absorbing, meticulously researched biography will be unnervingly familiar to anyone who has had even the most fleeting acquaintance with radical politics. Here is a man never more passionate than when attacking his own side, saddled with perennial money problems and still reliant on his parents for cash, constantly plotting new, world-changing ventures yet having trouble with both deadlines and personal hygiene, living in rooms that some might call bohemian, others plain “slummy,” and who can be maddeningly inconsistent when not lapsing into elaborate flights of theory and unintelligible abstraction.

Still, it comes as a shock to realize that the ultimate leftist, the father of Communism itself, fits a recognizable pattern.

Global warming: Still a hoax.  And the notion that it was man-caused was a bigger hoax.

Socialized Medicine: Money for Fake Boobs as Patients Starve — The title says it all, but it left out the part about gender-reassignment surgery (i.e., self-mutilation) being covered as well:

Why are capitalist countries wealthy and socialist countries poor? Because the free market allocates resources more wisely than bureaucrats. This is how healthcare resources are allocated under Britain’s regime of socialized medicine:

Britain’s National Health Service, the NHS, recently spent £4,800 — about $7,200 — on enormous breast implants for an aspiring model while nearly 1,200 patients starved to death in hospitals over the past four years. Critics say the deaths were caused by neglect due to understaffing.

The NHS provided Josie Cunningham with 36DD implants in January after she told her doctor that being flat-chested was causing emotional distress.

It gets worse:

In addition to the breast implants, the NHS has also spent £25,000 — about $37,000 — on a sex-change operation for a 19-year-old male diagnosed with “gender identity disorder.”

Wow, check out the anti-gay hate speech from all of these . . . Democrats?!?!  Not shocking at all, really.  And not hate speech, of course.  They just said whatever would optimize their votes, just like most Republicans do.  But their words at the were true, even if they didn’t believe them.  They have no substantive reasons for their change other than public opinion.

Child’s complaints of sexual abuse by gay couple were ignored by social workers — political correctness yields many victims.

University Compares Pro-Life Students to White Supremacists — But of course!  Abortions kill blacks at a rate 3 times that of whites, and the taxpayer-funded abortion portion of the Democrats’ platform will increase that, so of course the pro-choicers are like white supremacists or worse.  Oh, wait, what’s that? They said the pro-lifers were like the supremacists?!?!  Wow.

Abortion kills unwanted innocent but human beings.  It is a scientific fact and basic common sense that a new human being is created at fertilization.  So if someone calls you anti-abortion, don’t get defensive.  Embrace it!  Would you apologize for being anti-slavery?

A terrific summary of politics in the U.S.

Via Oleg Atbashian Founder of ‘The Peoples Cube’: “The Current Truth About Socialism and The Unions” at Ironic Surrealism v3.0 -

America is capitalistic and greedy yet have of the population is subsidized.

Half of the population is subsidized yet they think they are victims.

They think they are victims yet their representatives run the government.

Their representatives run the government yet the poor keep getting poorer.

The poor keep getting poorer yet they have things people in other countries can only dream about.

They have all this stuff people in other countries can only dream about and yet they want America to be like those other countries.

I especially liked this one: “Their representatives run the government yet the poor keep getting poorer.”  Just look at inner cities and their schools.  Democrats have had virtual monopolies on their politics and education for over 50 years and what do they have to show for it?  Detroit, anyone?

It is always interesting to get the perspectives of those who lived under full-fledged Communism.  If only we had history classes in public schools that taught the truth about what Communism does to people.

Oleg Atbashian is a writer and graphic artist from the former USSR. Born and raised in Ukraine, he used to be a teacher, a translator, a worker, a freelance journalist, and at one time a propaganda artist, creating visual agitprop for the local Party committee in a Siberian town. In 1994, he emigrated to the USA hoping to live in a country that was ruled by reason and common sense. Ironically, he now lives in New York City. He is the creator of  ThePeoplesCube.com, a satirical website where he writes under the name of Red Square.

Atlas Shrugged, the movie

This should be interesting.  I’m not a big movie fan but I may go see this– Atlas Shrugged Part 1 Trailer.  I finally got around to reading the book last year.

Mini-review: Ayn Rand did a magnificent job of identifying the failure of Liberalism and how destructive it is.  If I wasn’t so familiar with the people represented by the characters she skewered I would have accused her of creating straw men. But many decades later the same horrific thinking dominates academia and much of politics and “religion” (the fake kinds).

Her solution is better, but far from good enough.  Ironically, she was ahead of her time in identifying the intellectual bankruptcy of postmodern thinking but fell prey to a bit of it herself.  Even if her economic worldview was better than her ideological enemies — and it certainly was — she still had no universal grounding for her ideals.  And of course I oppose her pro-legalized-abortion stance, though I wonder if she would have changed her views if she had seen how abortion rights played out after Roe v Wade.

I hope that the movie stimulates discussion about the key economic concepts that it rightly advances.  And I do know of one blogger who has probably purchased multiple advance tickets to the show . . .

Free advice for Communists, Socialists and general anti-business types

I came across a pro-Communism blog when the owner commented here.  He basically encourages people to do all manner of evil to fight: evil.  How consistent.

My advice to people like him: Hey, if you and your comrades are so smart, why not form your own corporations and run them by your definition of good ethics.  Then you’ll have such a swell place to work that you can hire away the best and brightest from your evil competitors, right?  You can put them out of business and do it legally!  You don’t even have to resort to violence.  (Disappointed?)

If you think that the evil insurance companies charge too much, then pool your resources and start your own insurance company.  Beat them at their own game!  You’ll either drive them out of business or force them to reduce prices and increase benefits to compete with you.  Not only are you more righteous than your competition but you are smarter as well, right?  You can’t lose!

You know you have the skills to know your markets, follow all the tax, financial reporting, environmental, labor and other laws, keep your employees safe, make payroll, create and run efficient business processes, and so much more.  And you can do all those things better than your enemies.  Beating them will be so easy.

Or do you know how to do any of that?  Would that be too much work?  Isn’t it easier to plot how to take down “the man” and then release some endorphins?

And what is your plan once you take down the evil corporations and trash everyone’s retirement accounts?  Who will be left to pay taxes to support all your dreams?

I know a little bit about business and how jobs are formed, and it is tragic that Obama’s cabinet has, by far, the least business experience of any administration. I know what sends jobs overseas. They have no idea what creates real, lasting jobs — the ones that ultimately fund the government.

As I’ve said before, capitalism has its rough edges but it beats out every other “-ism” in a serious way.  Its critics never seem to realize that their plans bring the “killing the goose that laid the golden eggs” story to life.

Do people really want income redistribution?

Our President famously said that he wanted to spread the wealth around. Do you like that idea?

If people think income redistribution is such a swell idea, why not level the playing field around the world and not just in the U.S.? Check out this Global rich list site and see where you fit in. If you make $50,000 per year you are in the richest 1% of the people in the world.

If we really want to even everything out you’ll have to give up everything except $850 per year. That would put you at the 50% mark.

If you are reading this you are highly likely to be a very blessed person financially. Get out of debt as quickly as you can, live within your means and thank God for your good fortune. Give generously and joyfully because you want to, not because you have to.

Capitalism rocks! It has its hard edges, but it blows away all the other “isms” when it comes to helping the most people in the most significant way.

Roundup

Clinton to Receive Planned Parenthood’s Highest Award, named after eugenicist Margaret Sanger.  What a vile award. It speaks volumes that Clinton would be a recipient.  PP tries to downplay Sanger’s eugenics work as if it was just some quirky trait, but it was foundational to her philosophy.  Among other things, she would bribe black ministers so they would encourage their congregations to be sterilized.

eugenics [(yooh-jen-iks)] – The idea that one can improve the human race by careful selection of those who mate and produce offspring.

Note: Eugenics was a popular theory in the early twentieth century but is no longer taken seriously, primarily because of the horrors of the eugenic efforts of the Nazi regime in Germany.

Enjoy your award, Hillary.  Sanger would be proud that you aggressively support abortion policies that eliminate blacks at three times the rate of whites.

The Right to Bear Arms: Successes of the Week — Yea for well armed citizens and concealed weapons permits!  If only the media would trumpet these successes then perhaps more bad guys would consider another line of work — or at least a less violent form of theft, such as politics.  Criminals understand odds better than you think.

Rights, Religion, and the Soul of the Nation — Timely piece on a foundational issue with socialism and communism.  Polls show that “70% of mainline clergy believe the government should play a more active role in solving social problems and 90% of UCC clergy support more active government intervention in social issues,” and some “Christian” pastors (the fake kind) think that is something to be proud of.  But the consequences of government attempting to provide everything are horrific.  They fail miserably and leave drastic unintended consequences in their wake.

The idea that everyone has a right to everything and that it will all be provided by an omniscient and presumably beneficent government is a seductive one. Justice is, after all, a Christian virtue. In reality, however, a world of rights and distributive justice is dry, heartless, and dehumanizing. It is a world driven entirely by duty and, as such, it is a world that makes generosity and gratitude—two basic religious impulses—impossible. To use Martin Luther’s terms, it is a world of law with no room for grace. Where demands and duty rule the day, charity is superfluous. Schall writes:

“In a socialist world, no charity can exist because there can be no need that is unfulfilled by the commonality’s duty. It is a world in which there can be no gratitude. I can thank someone for giving me what is really his. I cannot thank him for giving me what is by rights already mine. “

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 The Devil is in the Details: Nightline Faceoff on Satan — a thorough and excellent piece on the televised debate on Satan’s existence between  Mark Driscoll and Anne Lobert (pro) and Deepak Chopra and Charles Pearson (con).

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News that you missed — because actors are more popular than war heroes.