Books Archives

Friday Link Wrap-up

Planned Parenthood keeps breaking all its previous records in abortions performed.

Chavez is running out of people/things to blame for socialism’s failure. "[I]n a remarkable volte-face, for the first time this week Hugo Chávez admitted that the government was, after all, largely to blame for the electricity shortages and rationing that are hampering the economy, having previously tried to blame it on a drought, which dried up Venezuela’s hydroelectric reservoirs. That argument didn’t work so well this year, with torrential rains flooding much of the country."

Down’s Syndrome death panels are getting setup.

The debt crisis in Europe threatens to tear apart the EU. That’s not some conservative think tank talking, it’s the EU itself.

"If you love me, pass this bill!" Apparently, Mr. Obama has lost a lot of love in his own party, as Dems pick apart his jobs bill.

We spend more and more on public schools — in absolute dollars and per student — and yet SAT scores continue to fall. There are proven ways to deal with this, but Democrats are against all of them (predictably).

If poverty leads to crime, why is the crime rate falling during this recession (and the decade before it)? Is it because, perhaps, we’re actually keeping criminals behind bars?

Talk about over-regulation, here’s a CEO who was fined for hiring too many people and required to stop hiring altogether. When government calls the shots, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing (or even that there is a right hand).

Palin Derangement Syndrome: Joe McGinniss wrote an expose on Sarah Palin that was essentially (according to the publisher) filled with unproved “tawdry gossip” and rumors that lacked “factual evidence.”

The new 2011 version of the New International Version of the Bible strives for gender-inclusivity. Mary Kassian gives her 10 reasons why this is bad for women.

And finally, never mind abortion, Michelle Obama thinks you should have parental consent before getting French Fries. (Click for a larger version.)

    Christians and Harry Potter

    Yeah, it seems a little late to be discussing this, but a new podcast that I’ve been listening to, "The Sci-Fi Christian", which covers all sorts of topics, decided to tackle this one this past episode. I highly recommend this to sci-fi fans, Christian or otherwise.

    My family didn’t do Harry Potter, at least in its heyday, and I explained why to Matt Anderson and Ben DeBono in an audio feedback I sent to them for this episode. It turned out that this feedback and their responses to it became a large part of the show. So I thought I’d toss it on the blog for your consideration as well.

    The show is long, about 92 minutes, and the first third of it is news from the sci-fi and comics worlds. If you play it on the site, you can skip to 31 in and the main topic starts up. I wrote up what I was going to say before I recorded it, so below is the text of my audio feedback.


     

    Read the rest of this entry

      Independently Confirmed: Media Leans Left

      Tim Groseclose is a distinguished professor of political science. He is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at UCLA. He holds joint appointments in the political science and economics departments. He has held previous faculty appointments at universities including Stanford and Harvard. In short, he is certainly not  a member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

      And yet he is coming out with a book,"Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind", that has been researched over eight years, using "state-of-the-art statistical and social-scientific methods", and which comes to the conclusion that, indeed, the media is so biased to the left that Fox News doesn’t get credit for it’s centrist stance. The PowerLine blog reprinted the preface on Sunday, will reprint the introduction today, and chapter 8 Tuesday through Friday.

      This purports to prove scientifically that there is liberal bias in journalism, and that it works; it shifts the general public to the left which, in turn, remakes the "center" in this country more liberal. Which then feeds on itself.

      This could be a very important  book in the coming years. Worth keeping an eye on.

        Friday Link Wrap-up

        The deficit commission that President Obama convened agrees that most of ObamaCare should be kept.  Unfortunately, they believe in order to keep it fiscally sustainable is for it to include Death Panels.  They laughed at Sarah Palin for predicting this.  I don’t hear anyone laughing now.

        Speaking of Sarah Palin, Richard Cohen (no conservative, he) just can stop reading about (and apparently, can’t stop writing about) the former Alaska governor.  And in writing about her and her beliefs, he includes this bit of honesty:

        The left just doesn’t get America. I say this as a fellow-traveler of liberalism and as one who recognizes that many liberals fear the heartland. They see it as a dark place of primitive religions and too many guns. For such a person, Palin is the perfect personification of the unknown and feared Ugly American who will emerge from the heartland to seize Washington, turning off all the lights and casting America into darkness. The left does not merely disagree with the right; it fears it.

        Hospitals closing or ridden with crime.  Doctors quitting the medical practice or leaving the country to find greener pastures in which to practice.  Shortages of medical supplies.  While these are predictions of what will come with ObamaCare, we have yet another example of where socialized medicine is failing.  Mr. Obama, call Mr. Chavez to find out how well it’s working in Venezuela.  (Hint:  It’s not.)

        The Christmas song “Silver Bells” was inspired by the sound of Salvation Army bell-ringers outside department stores.  But apparently familiarity breeds contempt.

        The character of Aslan in the Narnia series of books, as well established in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, is an allegory for Jesus Christ.  That was C. S. Lewis’ purpose.  But Liam Neeson, who provides the voice for Aslan in the movie series, has apparently been infected with the political correctness syndrome that pervades Hollywood.

        Ahead of the release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader next Thursday, Neeson said: ‘Aslan symbolises a Christ-like figure but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.

        ‘That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me.’

        Mohammed and Buddha died for your sins?  Really?

        Does Romans chapter 1 condemn homosexuality?  Some interpret it in such a way that it doesn’t, in spite of the words chosen.  John Stott takes apart such interpretations.

        Bryan Longworth had an interesting tweet the other day.  “Comprehensive sex ed has been taught in schools 4 over 40 years. The results? Epedemic #STIs. How’s perversion working 4 U?”  Not so well, judging by the results.

        And finally, Chuck Asay has some words for Democrats who are ostensibly fighting for the workers.  (Click for a larger version.)

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          Ed Morrissey Interviews Dinesh D’Souza

          One of the podcasts I listen to is Heading Right Radio with Ed Morrissey of “Captain’s Quarters”. He gets some great interviews, and last week (I’m behind in my podcast listening) he got Dinesh D’Souza and they talked about D’Souza’s book “What’s So Great About Christianity”. Fresh from his debate at King’s College with Christopher Hitchens, D’Souza covers a number of interesting topics from his book, including the truth about the Gallileo’s persecution, the limits of reason, why the recent increase in atheist apologetics, the supposed “war” between science and religion, thank-you letters to Portugese inquisitors, and other light topics. >grin<

          Click here to listen to any of Captain Ed’s shows, and stick it in your podcatcher.

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            Christian Fantasy Literature, Minus Hogwarts

            Someone once said (I’m thinking C. S. Lewis, but if you know the quote, please note it in a comment) something to the effect that we don’t need more good Christian literature, we need more good literature by Christians. Does the trend mentioned in this news story portend more of the former or the latter?

            Could the next Harry Potter be a devout Christian?

            As the days tick down until Saturday, when a breathless world learns the fate of the teenage wizard, a new breed of fantasy fiction, with Potter-style stories, is emerging.

            Like the Potter series, it has mystical creatures, macabre events, epic battles and heroic young protagonists.

            But, unlike the Potter books, this genre has overt Christian tones: messiah-like kings who return from the dead, fallen satanic characters and young heroes who undergo profound conversions. What you won’t generally find: humans waving wands and performing spells.

            Christian fantasy, which had been a slow seller, has caught fire recently, industry analysts say, ignited by the success of the Potter series, which has sent some Christian readers looking for alternatives.

            What could come of this is a boatload of Narnia knockoffs, most with the same redemption allegory. Now, I’m not knocking the allegory itself, per se; there’s certainly nothing wrong with presenting the “old, old story” in a new way. But not everything written by Christians has to be a thin veneer overlaying the New Testament.

            And there are a lot of good books written that happen to be written by Christians. In our house, Ted Dekker is a big name, not only for his incredible thriller and suspense novels, but because he went to the same missionary boarding school in Indonesia as my wife and was just a grade or two ahead.

            The article notes that the Potter controversy continues (interestingly, Dobson has praises for the series), while the array of other options is on the increase. But with great popularity comes great mediocrity, and just because the author’s a Christian doesn’t mean it’s a masterpiece. But trust me, those masterpieces do exist, and we need more of them.

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              “The God Delusion”

              Professor Academic professional John Bambenek, writing at Blogger News Network, has a devastating review of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. What some are hailing as a defense of reason, Bambenek shows to be what he calls, “a rehash of pop philosophy and loosely strung together anecdotes, half-truths, and outright falsehoods”. Well worth reading.

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