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The Vertical Self

Look inside The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in An Age of Self Obsession here.

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No Proof

Andrew Breitbart’s $100k challenge goes unanswered.

After 14 months of committing 100% to health care reform, the day after the signing of the Health Care bill was to mark the Democratic Party’s new primary concern: destroy the uprising, annihilate by all means necessary, the Tea Party movement.

The first sign that a plan was in place was the ham-fisted, high-camp posturing of the most controversial members of the Democratic caucus walking through the peaceful but animated “Tea Party” demonstrators on Capitol Hill. There is no reason for these elected officials to walk above ground through the media circus amid their ideological foes. The natural route is the tunnels between the House office buildings and the Capitol. By crafting a highly symbolic walk of the Congressional Black Caucus through the majority white crowd, the Democratic Party was looking to provoke a negative reaction. They didn’t get it. So they made it up. . .

. . .I smelled a rat so I offered at first $10k five days after the highly publicized alleged incidents happened. How could we be five full news cycles into this major controversy and not have any evidence? In fact, the existing footage showed the Congressional Black Caucus walking and never once moving their heads toward any “racist outbursts.” Is it conceivable that all of them stoically walked by the N-word as it was hurled 15 times — as they were holding up cameras to convey they were suspicious of the crowd to begin with?

We are now two weeks since the bill was signed and the $10k reward jumped to $20k in a day after it was mentioned on both Hannity and O’Reilly. At the Searchlight Tea Party event last weekend I upped the ante to $100k. So where’s the evidence? Ken Vogel of Politico covered this story and said calls to Rep. John Lewis — one of the originator’s of the N-word storyline – were never returned.

And the Left’s attack on free speech starts at the top.

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Problem?

Vox Day on the “problem of evil.”

I am often bemused by those who appeal to the so-called “problem of evil” in questioning the existence of God. While there are, I think, a number of perfectly rational reasons for intelligent individuals to doubt the existence of the supernatural or a Creator God, the problem of evil is most definitely not one of them. Indeed, an appeal to it is nothing more than a demonstration of complete theological ignorance.

Without evil, Man is not fallen. Without evil, there is no bondage to sin. Without evil, there is no reason for Jesus Christ to sacrifice himself for us. Without evil, there is no purpose to the Crucifixion, no significance to the Resurrection, and no need for our salvation. Without evil, there is no basis for the very foundation of the Christian faith.

It is because there is evil in the world that Man has need of Jesus Christ. It is because Man is by nature slave to sin that we have need of the one who can set us free. And it is because we owed a debt that was beyond our capacity to pay that Christians are grateful for the epic sacrifice that we commemorate today.

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It Matters

Christianity Today on A Resurrection That Matters. See here.

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Historians and Nature

Historians and Nature by Donald Worster.

Darwin is surely the most influential scientist in modern times, not only as the founder of evolutionary biology and ecology but also as the inspirer of anthropologists, economists, psychologists, and philosophers. Despite the stubborn resistance of many religious people, his science has profoundly reshaped our modern worldview–indeed, evolution is its very foundation. His book On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, argued that life has evolved by wholly natural processes, without any supernatural intervention. Every organism, he pointed out, varies in some degree or trait from all other organisms, and that variability is basic to evolution. In a world of limited resources, variation must compete against variation, and those individuals that survive and leave offspring provide the next generation of organisms that, in turn, may leave heirs of their own. The less successful–those less fitted to their environment–eventually vanish into the earth, unless conditions suddenly change in their favor.

Read the complete article.

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Big Brother

The town of Southborough is demanding an anonymous commenter’s ID from a website where the comment was posted.

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Three Felonies

Here’s an excerpt of Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent by Harvey Silverglate.

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Reflections II

Here’s another review of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, by Christopher Caldwell. Previous reviews have been linked here, here, here, and here.

You can also read an excerpt here.

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Scandal

The real sexual abuse scandal.

We’ve all heard the story. Hundreds of young sexual abuse victims long afraid to come forward for fear of embarrassment and scorn, abusers escaping prosecution and quietly moving to different jurisdictions, authorities covering up the crimes to avoid scandal and litigation. It’s a saga of grave, grave sin.

Of course, you would assume that I’m talking about the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.

And you would be wrong.

I’m describing the situation in America’s schools — something that, although mirroring the problems dogging the Church, is strangely ignored.

Read the rest.

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Conservatism

Steven F. Hayward reviews five conservative books.

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Sex Survey

Found in 1973, a Victorian sex survey.

In 1973, historian Carl Degler was combing the University archives, gathering research for a book on the history of the family. Sifting through the papers of Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher, who taught in Stanford’s hygiene department around the turn of the 20th century, he came across a mysteriously bound file. Degler nearly put it aside, figuring it was a manuscript for one of Mosher’s published works, mostly statistical treatises on women’s height, strength and menstruation. But instead, he recalls, “I opened it up and there were these questionnaires”— questionnaires upon which dozens of women, most born before 1870, had inscribed their most intimate thoughts.

In other words, it was a sex survey. A Victorian sex survey. It is the earliest known study of its type, long preceding, for example, the 1947 and 1953 Kinsey Reports, whose oldest female respondents were born in the 1890s. The Mosher Survey recorded not only women’s sexual habits and appetites, but also their thinking about spousal relationships, children and contraception. Perhaps, it hinted, Victorian women weren’t so Victorian after all.

Read more here.

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Leftism

Dennis Prager: Leftism, the Religion.

Leftism, though secular, must be understood as a religion (which is why I have begun capitalizing it). The Leftist value system’s hold on its adherents is as strong as the hold Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have on theirs. Nancy Pelosi’s belief in expanding the government’s role in American life, which inspired her passion for the health-care bill, is as strong as a pro-life Christian’s belief in the sanctity of the life of the unborn.

More.

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Tea Parties

Michael Barone on tea parties.

Over the past 14 months, our political debate has been transformed into an argument between the heirs of two fundamental schools of political thought, the Founders and the Progressives. The Founders stood for the expansion of liberty and the Progressives for the expansion of government.

It’s an argument that has been going on for a century but was largely dormant over the quarter-century of low-inflation economic growth that followed the Reagan tax cuts. It’s been raised again by the expand-government policies of the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders.

Those policies, thoroughly in line with the Progressive tradition, have been advanced by liberal elites in government, media, think tanks and academia. The opposition, roughly in line with the Founders tradition, has been led by the non-elites who spontaneously flocked to tea parties and town halls. Republican politicians have been scrambling to lead these protesters.

Read the rest here.

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Self-Esteem

Theodore Dalrymple on Self-Esteem vs. Self-Respect.

With the coyness of someone revealing a bizarre sexual taste, my patients would often say to me, “Doctor, I think I’m suffering from low self-esteem.” This, they believed, was at the root of their problem, whatever it was, for there is hardly any undesirable behavior or experience that has not been attributed, in the press and on the air, in books and in private conversations, to low self-esteem, from eating too much to mass murder.

Self-esteem is, of course, a term in the modern lexicon of psychobabble, and psychobabble is itself the verbal expression of self-absorption without self-examination. The former is a pleasurable vice, the latter a painful discipline. An accomplished psychobabbler can talk for hours about himself without revealing anything

Read the rest here.

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Hubris

Cathy Young: An Act of Hubris.

While nobody knows what effects the health care reform bill passed by Congress will have on health care in America, the battle around this legislation is very likely to have disastrous effects on the nation’s cultural health. Vitriol, hate, hysteria, and dishonesty and stark political polarization have reached new lows even for our time, with each side in the debate bandying about accusations of murder.

Part of the reason this particular debate has reached such a pitch of intensity is that health care affects people on a deeply personal level; it is a matter not only of privacy on the most intimate of levels but also, frequently, of life and death. The idea of being unable to afford medical care for oneself or loved ones is terrifying; so is the idea of the government poking its nose in one’s health care, and perhaps deciding who has access and who does not.

While the debate is often framed as one between European-style big government and American-style free markets, it is to a large extent a false dichotomy. Government is already more entangled in medicine in America than in almost any other part of the private sector, and there are strong arguments that many of the current problems—including out-of-control costs—are at least partly related to government-imposed market distortions.

At the same time, the life-and-death nature of medicine throws a major wrench into the libertarian paradigm.

More at Reason.

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Elders of Christendom?

Alan Roebuck: The Protocols of the Elders of Christendom?

The left is in the driver’s seat, and there is therefore one irrefutable argument against the view that a secret cabal of Christian fundamentalists is taking over the country: Conservatism continues to lose. There may very well be secret or semi-secret conservative organizations dedicated to wresting control of the country from the left, but if so, these organizations are failing spectacularly. On average, with exceptions noted, the left is expanding its control over America’s intellectual, moral, social, spiritual, and legal order. That the left is winning does not necessarily mean that conservatism can never come back, but we must acknowledge the current situation.

See here.

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Calvinism

The return of Calvinism.

In America’s Christian faith, a surprising comeback of rock-ribbed Calvinism is challenging the Jesus-is-your-buddy gospel of modern evangelism.

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We Are Doomed II

Vox Day interviews John Derbyshire about his new book, We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism.

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Philosophers

What Do Philosophers Believe? See here.

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Suicide Schools

The New York Daily News reports on Taliban suicide schools for children in Pakistan.

Pakistani terror camps are teaching children the three R’s: reading, ‘riting and rage.

Taliban suicide schools dotting the Af-Pak tribal belt leave no child behind in the deadly lessons.

Graduates don’t go to college – they blow themselves to bits in Afghanistan to find paradise.

Since 2005, when the Haqqani Taliban introduced suicide bombings in the Afghan war, kids have become a messenger of choice.