Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Global Warming Myth #2

Myth #2: Humans Are Causing Global Warming
"Scientists do not agree that humans discernibly influence global climate because the evidence supporting that theory is weak. The scientific experts most directly concerned with climate conditions reject the theory by a wide margin.
A Gallup poll found that only 17 percent of the members of the Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Society think that the warming of the 20th century has been a result of greenhouse gas emissions - principally CO2 from burning fossil fuels. [See Chart.]
Only 13 percent of the scientists responding to a survey conducted by the environmental organization Greenpeace believe catastrophic climate change will result from continuing current patterns of energy use.
More than 100 noted scientists, including the former president of the National Academy of Sciences, signed a letter declaring that costly actions to reduce greenhouse gases are not justified by the best available evidence.
While atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by 28 percent over the past 150 years, human-generated carbon dioxide could have played only a small part in any warming, since most of the warming occurred prior to 1940 - before most human-caused carbon dioxide emissions."

Global Warming Myth #1

Myth #1: Scientists Agree the Earth Is Warming.

"While ground-level temperature measurements suggest the earth has warmed between 0.3 and 0.6 degrees Celsius since 1850, global satellite data, the most reliable of climate measure-ments, show no evidence of warming during the past 18 years. [See Chart] Even if the earth's temperature has increased slightly, the increase is well within the natural range of known temperature variation over the last 15,000 years. Indeed, the earth experienced greater warming between the 10th and 15th centuries - a time when vineyards thrived in England and Vikings colonized Greenland and built settlements in Canada."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Someone Finally Said It...

I never thought I would hear it come out of Hollywood, but when Dennis Miller- the author, talk show host, comedian- was on Jay Leno's Tonight Show he was asked about various issues. One was about Kyoto and "global warming". Miller said, "I don't even know if I believe in global warming." Amen, Dennis. Amen.

For more helpful information, see the article
"Science Has Spoken: Global Warming Is a Myth", and definitely don't be propagandized (is that a word?) by the leftist media.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It's Robert Burns Night

"To a Haggis"
(Haggis is a wholesome savoury pudding, a mixture of mutton and offal. It is boiled and presented at table in a sheep's stomach)
All hail your honest rounded face,
Great chieftain of the pudding race;
Above them all you take your place,
Beef, tripe, or lamb:
You're worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.
His knife the rustic goodman wipes,
To cut you through with all his might,
Revealing your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, what a glorious sight,
Warm, welcome, rich.
Then plate for plate they stretch and strive,
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all the bloated stomachs by and by,
Are tight as drums.
The rustic goodman with a sigh,
His thanks he hums.
Let them that o'er his French ragout,
Or hotchpotch fit only for a sow,
Or fricassee that'll make you spew,
And with no wonder;
Look down with sneering scornful view,
On such a dinner.
You powers that make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare.
Old Scotland wants no stinking ware,
That slops in dishes;
But if you grant her grateful prayer,
Give her a haggis.
by Robert Burns (1759-1796), Abridged

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Post-Election Haiku

Polls from sea to sea;
the great white voice sings freedom
to a harper's tune.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Unconditional Election Day

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed."

-Romans 13:1-7-

We must pay all taxes and submit to government, according to the Word of God. But because we're in a democracy, if we don't like the government or taxes we can kick the governing authorities out and demand lower taxes and different laws. Wow.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

SCARE Canada 2006

Well done to Dr. Haykin of Toronto Baptist Seminary on his clear-headed and necessary comment on the Liberals' "scare tactic" campaigning, and the warping of democracy. Please read it here.

I dedicate this post to the Honorable Stephen Harper, Canada's next Prime Minister.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Osama, Yo' Mama!

I don't know if you've read or heard the latest message by Osama Bin Laden, but Gene Veith points out a true and very frightening thing the terrorist said regarding Americans vs. jihadists. Just because Bin Laden is evil doesn't mean he's void of some wisdom. Here's the following post from Veith's "Osama Has a Point" :

For Osama bin Laden's message to the American people, click here.
He concludes:

"Failing to carry out jihad, which is called for in our religion, is a sin. The best death to us is in the shadows of swords. Don't let
your strength and modern arms fool you. They win a few battles but lose the war.
Patience and steadfastness are much better. We were patient in fighting the
Soviet Union with simple weapons for 10 years and we bled their economy and now
they are nothing. In that there is a lesson for you."

Osama basically draws on the much-heralded position in jihadist circles that Americans cannot take casualties, whereas the jihadists can. Kill a few Americans, according to the strategy, and public opinion in the US will demand their withdrawal. Here he pretty much nails the anti-war sentiment in this country. But he is also right about the necessity--for our side--of "patience and steadfastness."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

This sentense contains exactly three erors.

Makin' Headlines

Is it just me, or is the Vatican constantly in the headlines these days? Maybe the last pope was just too old to cause a raucus. But just today's paper had two separate articles on news coming out of the Vatican, and there was also a front page story the other day. The stories are as follows:
  1. Judas Iscariot to Get Vatican Makeover. Judas was not as bad as we've made him out to be. He was "misunderstood"; just doing God's bidding, according to Roman Catholic officials. We must "look kindly toward him" (It's funny that Jesus called him a "son of destruction" doomed to hell, in John 17:12). Read about this claim in The London Times.
  2. Stop teaching "intelligent design" in schools, it's not science and it just confuses people. Read about this pious opinion here.
  3. Pope Benedict released an encyclical warning his sheep not to confuse love for lust and sex. He differentiated between 'eros', erotic love, and 'agape', the "unconditional, spiritual, and selfless" love. He said that eros in the right context is OK, but not outside of agape, which is the standards of love given by Jesus. He says that eros risks being "'degraded to mere sex' if it is not balanced with spiritual or divine love founded on the teachings of Jesus." I have to agree with Benny on this one. Read about it here.
  4. And one last bit of humor. Pope Benedict is making headlines as, of all things, a fashion celebrity. Not only did he wear a traditional medieval red hat for Christmas, which looked strikingly like Santa's, he also donned "a red velvet cape trimmed in ermine" in December. He could be a catwalk model in Milan with his "Gucci sunglasses and bright red Prada loafers." I'm not kidding. Read about PontiFabbio here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chinese, not Columbus, Discovered New World!

(Forget the natives and Vikings, they don't count.)

An accurate world map was found in Shanghai which was drawn in 1418, 74 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. If this is authentic, and the Chinese claim it is, it means that a Chinese explorer circumnavigated the world and charted the Americas at the beginning of the 15th century. It would have had to have been a good ship, and not just a piece of
junk (*sigh*).

It was bought by a map collector in a shop for $500 US. This is why it is important to go to old book stores, you never what treasure you'll find... much to the chagrin of my wife, who thinks thousands of books take up valuable space in a house. Please.

Read the whole story

Monday, January 16, 2006

Man's Best Friend

Here are some pictures of my dogs, well, my father's dogs. My dad and stepmom Cassi have a kennel, "Horai-San Akitas." Cassi (in the photos) shows them, many of which are champions in both the U.S. and Canada. The Akita is a beautiful Japanese breed, which were bred to guard the emperor and to hunt bear, and remain Japan's national dog. Although very tough and aggressive, they are gentle and loyal, often babysitting infants in the royal palace. The first Akita in North America came back with Helen Keller as a gift from Japan (see below). The breed gained American publicity when the only witness to the Nicole Simpson murders was O.J.'s Akita.
They aren't for everyone, as they require much attention and would never tolerate being tied up. I've lost track now, but my dad and Cassi have about a dozen Akitas.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Excavation Update

David (Indiana) Graves is home safe after excavating a site of biblical proportions on the Dead Sea. See a couple photos and hear of his near-death experience on his blog.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pope = Shady Character

It sounds like a chapter in a Dan Brown novel. The Vatican. The dark of night. A disguised pontiff sneaks through the shadows and outside the Vatican walls. Why has Pope Benedict been dressing in plain black priest clothes and hat and sneaking through the back streets of Rome? He ends up at his old residence hall at 1 Piazza Citta Leonina where he lived for 24 years with other church officials. To visit old buddies, you say. Well, followed by his private secretary Don Georg Gaenswein, Pope Benedict, disguised with head down, passes the Vatican security guard and opens the door himself and then tiptoes inside, seemingly not chatting with old roommates. He spends several hours there. This has been happening over the past several weeks, according to the Italian newspaper La Stampa. What is the Pope doing under cover of darkness? He can visit friends anywhere at anytime. Maybe we'll never know. But it makes for intriguing speculation and adds to the secret mysteries that have haunted the ancient walled city for a thousand years.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Another Crappy TV Show

The following is part of a review on the new TV series The Book of Daniel. To read the entire thing click here.

"The Hollywood moguls who gave us The Book of Daniel (NBC, Fridays, 9:00 ET) probably think they are presenting Christianity in a positive light. Church people are not freaks. They are just like everybody else, having the same values and problems as the Hollywood moguls.
The Book of Daniel is about an Episcopal priest named Daniel Webster. He is addicted to pain pills. His daughter sells drugs. One son is gay. The other is promiscuous with women. His supervisor, a female bishop, is having an affair with his father, who is also a bishop cheating on his Alzheimer's-afflicted wife. He has a friend who is a local Catholic priest connected with the Mafia.
In his ministry, Daniel presides at plug-pullings at the hospital and gives sex tips to unmarried couples. One of his sermons is titled "Temptation: Is It Really a Bad Thing?" No, it isn't, he proclaims, since good needs evil in order to be good. "If temptation corners us, maybe we shouldn't beat ourselves up for giving into it," he concludes, as a girl in a pew looks knowingly at her boyfriend. "And maybe we shouldn't ask for forgiveness from a church or from God or from Jesus or from anyone, until we can first learn to forgive ourselves."
The storylines center on church, but no one demonstrates any reverence or devotion. No one, including the philandering bishops, has any guilt. No one has a sense of transcendence. For the members and leaders of this congregation, their religion makes absolutely no difference in their lives. They live exactly as non-Christians do, if not somewhat worse, and none of it seems to bother them.
But Daniel does have a personal relationship with Jesus. The Son of God appears to him as he drives in his car or reaches for his pills. They have friendly chats. The show portrays Jesus as a bearded flower-child who goes oh-wow at the clouds. He is always laughing. At crucial moments, He gives Daniel the thumbs-up sign with both hands.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus preaches the beatitudes. In The Book of Daniel, Jesus preaches the platitudes. Here are some actual sayings of this Jesus, which in context the show presents as being profound and wise: "Life is hard." "Let him be a kid." "Everybody's got to go through it." "I'm a good listener." "You should laugh more." "Everybody's different."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

“Religious matters are to be separated from the jurisdiction of the state not because they are beneath the interests of the state, but, quite to the contrary, because they are too high and holy and thus are beyond the competence of the state.”

-Isaac Backus(1724-1806),
American Founding Father
and Pastor of First Baptist Church in Middleborough, MA

When Backus was born, there were 1,500 Baptists in New England. When he died, there were 21,000-- many of them converted through his efforts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Plundering the Egyptians (Ex. 3:22; 12:36)

"...what separates believers from pagans is that we are heirs, while they are merely slaves. We are sons, and they but hired hands. Even now, Mozart's Requiem, while it is ultimately God's, has been handed over to Bach for stewardship in heaven. Milton carries about the folios of Homer, Virgil, and Yeats. Relativity is being herded by Newton. David Brainerd is thinking Pascal's thoughts, and if he didn't actually make it, Chesterton's works are in C.S. Lewis's heavenly briefcase.We are going to inherit the earth, and the fullness thereof. That means everything that is not wood, hay and stubble will belong to us, everything the heathen work for, and all that we work for, because we are joint-heirs with Christ. The jewelry of the Egyptians was but a picture and a down payment, a type and an earnest."

--From an article "More Than Conquerors" by R.C. Sproul, Jr, of the Highlands Study Center

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Righteous Sarcasm: Part 1

Some folks, either because of cultural backgrounds or societal folkways, have the crazy idea that Christians have to speak and socially behave in a certain way. Both sides of the aisle feel this way, both Christians and non-Christians. I'm not talking about true righteous living and talking - that's imperative. But I refer to those artificial rules that someone made up regarding the use of sarcasm and satire. According to these prudes, Christians must be absolutely inoffensive, never poking fun or belittling a person or idea, and never being sarcastic. But as we read Scripture, we see many occasions of righteous sarcasm, whether from the mouth of a prophet, Jesus, or the Father himself.

When I left my Italian-American/Boston context and entered the Anglo-Canadian world, I discovered that I was sometimes a mean person. But then I discovered that I am only "mean" in certain cultural contexts. A Mediterranean culture produces people less sensitive about people's comments. They don't think everything through before they say it, nor would it change anything if they did; they'd probably still say it all. Likewise, in Canada I was introduced to the fascinating phenomenon of one person talking at a time. What a culture shock! Where I live it's survival of the fittest in terms of the skill of conversation. I realized that when my Canadian wife barely spoke a word when first visiting my family. We don't wait. You have to fight for it. It's kind of like when I was walking through the cities in Italy where stopping for a red traffic light is optional (legally!). So if you plan on waiting for cars to LET you cross the street, forget about it, you have to boldly step out and the Fiats and Ferraris will slam on their brakes an inch from your kneecap and then gracefully allow you the privelege of crossing a Roman street. Actually it's the same with pedestrians. I remember when I turned from a gelateria window in Venice to hand a cone to my friend on the sidewalk and the obstruction of my arm extending was too long a wait for the old man walking in that direction and he knocked my arm out of his way. Yes he could have detoured around us, but that was his path and no gelato would keep him from following it at his rapid speed. Rudeness? Maybe. Uncalled for? No, after all, we were standing in his projected route. There's probably a law that allows Italians to fling tourists' extremities out of their way.

What's the point of all this rambling? Oh yes. When is it okay to be offensive. I seem to have spent a long time in piazzas and not in Bible references. That's why this will be part 1 of a two part series. I'll just go type "Part 1" in the title.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

You might be a Redneck Arminian if…

…you hear “Irresistible Grace” and think of your cousin
.…there is a fiddle accompaniment with Just as I Am
.…your exegesis consists of having 2 Peter 3:9 tattooed on your arm
.…when you hear “RC” you think of Cola
.…you think that supralapsarian is a newly breed dog
.…you possess more Charles Finney books than teeth
.…when the preacher mentions that we are but lumps of clay, you think of Mud Bogs
.…you hear someone say Ordo Salutis and think they had too much moonshine
.…you think “Spurgeon” is something you catch with rod & reel from your brother-in-law’s boat.…when you hear the Institutes you think of where many of your relatives live
.…“The Chief End of Man” is where you end up after “The Fall of Man.”
…you think that “Limited Atonement” is a single barrel shotgun
.…you purchase your Dave Hunt books through the Home Shopping Network
.…when you hear “five points” it reminds you of your average monthly reduction in your driver’s record
.…you have a bumper sticker on your truck that says, “If there ain’t free will in heaven, I don’t want to go.”
Courtesy of Alan Kurschner (Calvinist Gadfly)!
(Borrowed from the Dead Theologians Club)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Piece Talks

Thursday, January 05, 2006

ATTENTION! Blog Renovation

I just added commenting to this blog, and unfortunately all comments that were given on my blog for the past months have been eliminated. The reason I changed to this commenting system is that it is apparently easier and more comfortable to use.

Now everyone go back over all the posts and write exactly what you did before and we'll pretend like this never happened.....

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Top 10 Conservative Movies of 2005

Gene Edward Veith's (editor of World Magazine) blog
published a link to an article by Don Feder on the Top 10 Conservative flicks of 2005. You can read the justifications of his choices in Feder's article, but here's a brief description: "Conservative films celebrate virtue. They tell timeless tales of individuals overcoming all manner of adversity to achieve true greatness. They’re about honesty, loyalty, courage and patriotism. They’re concerned with conservatism’s cardinal values – faith, family and freedom."

Any thoughts on why any of these films should or shouldn't be here? Should the standards for Conservative movies be different than what is defined above?

  1. Cinderella Man
  2. King Kong
  3. The Island
  4. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
  5. The Great Raid
  6. Batman Begins
  7. The Greatest Game Ever Played
  8. Little Manhattan
  9. Coach Carter
  10. Memoirs Of A Geisha

Monday, January 02, 2006

Julius Child & the Joy of Archaeological Cooking

I have to share these delicious ancient Roman recipes with everyone, which I found at the website for the Pompeii Food and Drink project, in which archaeologists are meticulously studying and documenting the culinary life of the Pompeiians.

A Roman Holiday Recipe
Aladärum M cape.
Linguäs exsecxa et sepone.
Alaudäs abice.
Lingäs mitte in sartaginem cum paulö olei et frige cito.
Eäs traice ad patellam calida.
Quattuor sufficit.

Get 1,000 larks.
Remove their tongues and set aside.
Discard the larks.
Put the tongues in a pan with a little oil and saute quickly.
Transfer to a hot platter.
Serves four.

Or, for those with a larkless budget:

Cucumber Salad
1 cucumber
50g pennyroyal or fresh mint
1 tsp honey
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbl vinegar
1 small clove crushed garlic and a pinch of asafoetida

Peel, slice, and salt the cucmber. Mix together the dressing ingredients, pour over the cucumber and serve.

Sorry, Mr. Da Vinci, You'll Have to Wait Outside

One of the most anticipated films of all time, The Da Vinci Code, is coming out in May. The action takes place in Paris and London mostly, at many famous spots like the Louvre and Westminster Abbey to name a couple. Although the film crew, led by director Ron Howard, secured many of these locations for filming, Westminster Abbey in London barred the anti-Christian project from their property.

The famous Anglican church (see above) is home to the tombs of many giants of history such as Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson, Cromwell, Isaac Newton, Handel, Charles Dickens, David Livingstone (I presume), Darwin, Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Laurence Olivier... Not to mention Elizabeth I, King James I, and Bloody Mary.

Despite its global and historical significance, bringing in over 1 million tourists a year, the medieval edifice refused to give fliming permission to The Da Vinci Code project, and criticizes those churches that do allow the "theologically unsound" movie to film inside of them.

According to the BBC, the Abbey stated that they cannot "commend or endorse the contentious and wayward religious and historic suggestions made in the book," and that the "factual errors" go beyond theology to simple things like "metal detectors in the Abbey which do not exist and claims that Alexander Pope gave the eulogy at Isaac Newton's funeral."

It seems that Dan Brown is a great fiction writer. A fiction writer. A writer whose research is inaccurate, not only regarding biblical and historical fact, but in the easily researchable area of whether or not their are metal detectors at the entrance to the most prominent church in Britain. Has he even visited the place?