Thursday, December 31, 2009

Living in the moment

"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored."

Earl Nightingale
1921-1989, Radio Announcer, Author and Speaker

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Loving your work

"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it."

Pearl S. Buck
1892-1973, Writer

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


"Scars remind us where we've been - they don't have to dictate where we are going."

Joe Mantegna

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dealing with unexpected problems

"When you develop your ability to balance your emotions, unexpected problems won't knock you off balance as easily, and you'll return more quickly to a positive outlook."

Peggy McColl
New York Times Best Selling Author

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The cheapest pleasure

"Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much. It pleases those who gives and receives and thus, like mercy, is twice blessed."

Erastus Wiman
1834-1904, Journalist and Businessman

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do something!

"You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind. Your mind gets bored and therefore tired of doing nothing. Get interested in something! Get absolutely enthralled in something! Get out of yourself! Be somebody! Do something. The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have."

Norman Vincent Peale
1898-1993, Pastor, Speaker and Author

Following your ideals

"Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny."

Carl Schurz
1829-1906, Politician

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A cheerful heart

"Laughter is to life what shock absorbers are to automobiles. It won't take the potholes out of the road, but it sure makes the ride smoother."

Barbara Johnson

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A purpose in life

"When you have a purpose in life, a vision for what you want to achieve, and know why you want to achieve it, work becomes fun, and the time you spend working seems to just whizz by."

Clayton J. Moore
Financial Expert

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Planning your life

"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much."

Jim Rohn
1930-2009, Author and Speaker

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Anger and love

"The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present."

Barbara De Angelis

Monday, December 07, 2009

Passion and happenings

"When you focus on something with a lot of passion, it makes it happen even faster."

Bill Harris

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Going the extra mile

"The big rewards come to those who travel the second, undemanded mile."

Bruce Barton
1886-1967, Author, Advertising Executive, and Politician

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Daily success

"My success just evolved from working hard at the business at hand each day."

Johnny Carson
1925-2005, Television Host and Comedian

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Taking action

"Action makes more fortune than caution."

Luc De Clapiers
1715-1747, Essayist

Monday, November 30, 2009

Making decisions

"Most people think that making decisions is hard, especially financial decisions, so they end up burying their heads in the sand, hoping someone else will make their decisions for them. The thing to realize is that by not making decisions, we are really making decisions anyway. We are really deciding that we will continue to do what we have done up until now."

Clayton J. Moore

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How to treat your friends

"Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light."

Jennie Jerome Churchill
1854-1921, Writer and Mother of Sir Winston Churchill

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Living by our words

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

John F. Kennedy
1917-1963, 35th President of the United States

Monday, November 23, 2009

Building bridges

"People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges."

Joseph F. Newton

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Choosing our thoughts

"When we take control of our mental state by deliberately choosing our thoughts and attitudes, we can alter the meaning we associate to the experiences we have and results we see in our life."

Clayton J. Moore

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to get what you want

"There are two ways of attaining an important end, force and perseverance; the silent power of the latter grows irresistible with time."

Anne Sophie Swetchine
1782-1857, Author

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One More Reason to Ban Artificial Sweeteners from Your Diet

"Individuals who consume a diet high in artificially sweetened drinks are more likely to experience a decline in kidney function, according to a paper presented at the American Society of Nephrology's annual meeting in San Diego, California."

Getting started

"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along."

Napoleon Hill

Monday, November 16, 2009

Believing in yourself

"To be a champ, you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will."

Sugar Ray Robinson
1920-1989, American Boxer

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Listening to the word of God

Exodus 4.1: "And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee."

Romans 10.17: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Hebrew 11.1: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

There's a circularity here.

We receive faith by hearing the word of God. But if we do not believe, we will not listen. So how to come to faith?

God has given us a revelation of Himself in nature. A revelation which tells us there is a powerful God who reveals Himself. Hearing the word of God requires a humble submission to that natural revelation.

So we humbly come before God, hear His word, and that faith grows in us.

God does not hit us over the head. Those who choose not to believe -- like the Egyptians Moses alludes to in Exodus 4.1 -- will not believe, will not listen, and will ultimately deny that God has spoken.

But God is merciful. Even to those whose faith is infinitely weak, He feeds and brings us gently along.

That's why hearing God's word is important. The very act of hearing reminds us that we are creatures, and that hearing in turn grows our faith which in turn leads us to greater and greater understanding of the word of God.

Dwelling on misfortune

"The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us."

Francois-Marie Arouet, better know as Voltaire
1694-1778, Writer, Essayist, and Philosopher

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to succeed

"I do not have superior intelligence or faultless looks. I do not captivate a room or run a mile under six minutes. I only succeeded because I was still working after everyone else went to sleep."

Greg Evans

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Planning your life

"A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there."

H. Stanley Judd

Friday, November 06, 2009


"We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained."

Marie Curie
1867-1934, Physicist

Thursday, November 05, 2009


"Successful people make decisions quickly and change them slowly if and when at all."

Napoleon Hill

Monday, November 02, 2009


"Everyone should have a sense of urgency - it is getting a lot done in a short period of time in a calm confident manner."

Bob Proctor
Author and Speaker

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nothing to do?

"It is the people who can do nothing who find nothing to do, and the secret to happiness in this world is not only to be useful, but to be forever elevating one's uses."

Sarah Orne Jewett
1849-1909, Author

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to deal with your obstacles

"Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength you think they have."

Norman Vincent Peale

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Barefoot running

Swine flu alert

Do it!

"You'll seldom experience regret for anything that you've done. It is what you haven't done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you've lost them forever."

Wayne Dyer
Author and Speaker

Monday, October 26, 2009

How we see the world

"Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world... Same world."

Wayne Dyer
Author and Speaker

Friday, October 23, 2009

The White House and Mao Zedong

"It’s proving harder than I expected to shake off the image of White House Communications Director Anita Dunn praising Mao Zedong at a commencement speech in June.

The videotape of her evoking one of her “favorite political philosophers” before an audience of graduating teenagers and their parents has a blandly sinister quality that’s all the more gripping for its echoing, tinny sound — a consequence of the soaring architecture of the National Cathedral, where Dunn gave the speech."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stanford Faculty Teach Gregorian Chant

Make me feel important!

"Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, 'Make me feel important.' Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life."

Mary Kay Ash
1918-2001, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


"Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything."

Mary Hemingway
1908-1986, Author and Journalist

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Achieving your goals

"Make a notation in your calendar to review your goals weekly and to grade yourself at the end of the month. Actually schedule time to work on and achieve your goals."

Raymond Aaron

Monday, October 19, 2009

How to be happy

"Happiness doesn't depend on what we have, but it does depend on how we feel toward what we have. We can be happy with little and miserable with much."

William Dempster Hoard
1836-1918, Politician and Publisher

Saturday, October 17, 2009


"The idle man does not know what it is to enjoy rest."


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Achievment and success

"My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others. That is nice but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement - success will follow."

Helen Hayes
1900-1993, Award Winning Actress

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Counting your blessings

"Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward with the life that God intended for you."

Og Mandino
1923-1996, Author and Speaker

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What you want to change

"No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change."

Barbara DeAngelis

Giving thanks

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation."

Brian Tracy
Author and Speaker

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Confession in the context of the liturgy

The notion of confession comes up very frequently in the scriptures, though not always by name.

I think we've acquired a certain narrow sense of confession by some Roman and Lutheran teachers who imply that confession is only something done in the meaning of "confessing our sins."

Which is certainly a part of confession. But confession in the scriptures also seems to entail correction, admonition, godly counsel, and privately teaching the Christian about this or that doctrine.

Here's an example, done in King Hezekiah's temple restoration:

"And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers." (2 Chronicles 30.22)

Hearken unto her voice

Was struck today by Sarah's resemblance to the church in Genesis 21.9-12:

"And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called."

The church points us to Christ; we know Christ because the church tells us about Him. So even faithful Abraham -- the prototype of the faithful believer -- is commanded to listen to Sarah's voice.

The church is our mother (Galatians 4.26), and our mother shows us who our Father is.

Vitamin D Prevents Cancer: Is It True?

20 Tips for More Efficient Google Searches

"For millions of people Google is an indispensable search tool that they use every day, in all facets of their lives. From work or school, research, to looking up movies and celebrities to news and gossip, Google is the go-to search engine."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Citing cybercrime, FBI director doesn't bank online

My kids would say this is an example of why old people should not be allowed to use the internet. I'm becoming inclined to agree with them:

"The head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has stopped banking online after nearly falling for a phishing attempt.

FBI Director Robert Mueller said he recently came "just a few clicks away from falling into a classic Internet phishing scam" after receiving an e-mail that appeared to be from his bank."

Power over circumstances

"Refuse to let your present results influence your thinking. Keep reminding yourself that you have a power within you that is superior to any condition or circumstance you may encounter enroute to your goal."

Bob Proctor

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Prayers against evil

"And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know." (Gen. 18.20-21)

Notice that God says that He has heard ("the cry of it") of the evils of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

I'd always assumed that "the cry" was God's general omniscience coming into play.

I'm not so sure, especially when comparing the Genesis 18 passage with that of 2 Peter:

"And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)." (2 Peter 2.7-8)

Is this perhaps an early instance of imprecatory prayers prayed against evildoers? (In this case, Lot praying about the cities in which he dwelt).


"Wealthy people tend to be orderly, while those who struggle have lots of messes. Each mess is a lock on the gate that keeps abundance out."

Raymond Aaron

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Going beyond failure

"Most great people have achieved their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure."

Napoleon Hill

Monday, October 05, 2009

What we think about

"Our minds become magnetized with the dominating thoughts we hold in our minds, and these magnets attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts."

Napoleon Hill

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Chicago’s Loss: Is Passport Control to Blame?

"Did Chicago lose the chance to host the 2016 Olympics because of airport security issues? Among the toughest questions posed to the Chicago bid team this week in Copenhagen was one that raised the issue of what kind of welcome foreigners would get from airport officials when they arrived in this country to attend the Games. Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, in the question-and-answer session following Chicago’s official presentation, pointed out that entering the United States can be 'a rather harrowing experience.'"

Ultra-Orthodox Jews accused of fight to keep ‘Jews for Jesus’ out

"Israel is using an ultra-Orthodox group to crack down on Messianic Jews — who believe that Jesus is the Messiah — and prevent them from staying in the country, officials have told The Times.

The Messianic Jews have been accused of Christian missionary activities and complain of harassment and intimidation by the state.

An official at the Interior Ministry said that an anti-assimilation group called Yad L’Achim was working with the ministry to prevent Messianic Jews — known as Jews for Jesus — from being allowed to live in Israel, which they consider their spiritual home."

This ONE Action Keeps Brain Function at its Peak

"Researchers have found that individuals with a high daily intake of vegetables and fruits also demonstrate higher cognitive performance. Please notice that vegetables are mentioned first because they are FAR more important than fruits.

Subjects with a high intake (about 400 grams per day) of fruits and vegetables had higher antioxidant levels, lower indicators of free radical-induced damage, and better cognitive performance."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Obama’s Olympic failure will only add to doubts about his presidency

"Chicago’s dismal showing today, after Mr Obama’s personal, impassioned last-minute pitch, is a stunning humiliation for this President. It cannot be emphasised enough how this will feed the perception that on the world stage he looks good — but carries no heft."

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Wasted time

"Regret for time wasted can become a power for good in the time that remains, if we will only stop the waste and the idle, useless regretting."

Arthur Brisbane
1864-1936, Journalist and Editor

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Doing a kindness

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Being thankful

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
106 BC - 43 BC, Politician, Orator and Philosopher

Monday, September 28, 2009

Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low

"Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured."

Please leave a message

Is anyone else up for updating our "leave a message" message on voicemail systems?

I mean, I guess it was needful when these first came into existence -- maybe 1983 -- to remind people to wait for the tone, etc. But now the long, drawn out messages -- the worst are the ones that say "I'm away from my phone, or helping another valued customer"!

How about a simple, "This is Oscar Rodriguez -- please leave a message"? It combines identification (so the caller knows they've got the right phone), courtesy ("please") and a 3 word instruction. Short and simple. And it doesn't leave the listener feeling like she's calling into a time warp.

Mastering your thoughts

"Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don't control what you think, you can't control what you do."

Napoleon Hill

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What Do We Owe Exonerated Inmates? Why justice demands full atonement when we punish the innocent

"Michael Evans won an Illinois lottery. The state presented him with a check for $162,000. But forgive him if he's not as grateful as most Lotto winners. His payout didn't come to him because he selected some winning numbers. It came because he spent 27 years in prison for a rape and murder committed by someone else."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Believing in what you can do

"Every achiever that I have ever met says, 'My life turned around when I began to believe in me.'"

Dr. Robert Schuller

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

From Asia Times: More questions on the 9/11 events

"Osama "dead or alive" bin Laden would rather lose his kidney than pass up the opportunity to celebrate the eighth anniversary of September 11, 2001, on the United States. And like clockwork, he resurfaced in an 11-minute, al-Sahab-produced audiotape last week (sorry, no video, just a still picture), where he states how a series of grievances had 'pushed us to undertake the events of [September 11]'".

Obama science czar Holdren says Constitution backs compulsory abortion

"Obama science czar John Holdren stated in a college textbook he co-authored that in conditions of emergency, compulsory abortion would be sustainable under the U.S. Constitution, even with Supreme Court review."

Where to turn

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows."

Helen Keller

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When Herod got it right

"At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him." Matthew 14.2

In Matthew 14, Herod murders St. John the Baptist in cold blood. But before he did, he got one thing right, and it's in vs. 2.

The verse helps us understand the relationship between good works and the Christian's life.

Some Christians go too far one way. They imagine that any good we do is somehow of our own doing, and that we can glory in our works.

Others imagine that we are like rocks that God throws -- that we are completely passive in the doing of good.

But the reality is more like Herod expressed it: good works show forth in the Christian's life. It's impossible for them not to: when someone is in vital contact with God's mercy, good will flow forth to that Christian's neighbor like water flowing from a fountain.

Even Herod saw that.

Think flying economy is bad now? New aircraft design puts passengers face-to-face in rows for budget travel

"Air travel is being overhauled with a new aircraft design which plans to seat passengers facing each other in rows.

The controversial design is intended to save space and money and could see 50 per cent more passengers packed on to each plane."

Accidental Prescription Drug Deaths Spike Upward

"The mortality rate from unintended injury in the U.S. rose 11 percent between 1999 and 2005. The jumps in poisoning deaths and deaths from falls were particularly high and troubling.

Overall, 89 percent of the total increase in unintentional injury deaths was due to poisoning among those 15 to 64 years old and falls among those 45 and older, which increased by about 11,200 and 6,600, respectively.
While the cause behind the increase in mortality from falls is as yet unknown, it appears that the increase in poisonings is largely due to prescription drugs. Other studies have also found alarming increases in prescription drug overdoses, and prescriptions for antidepressants, in particular, have soared."

7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat

"Tim Ferriss of The Four Hour Work Week has posted an exclusive excerpt from Drs. Michael and Mary Eades’ newest book, The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle.

The two doctors note that no matter how the story spins from the denizens of the anti-fat camp, one piece of their advice remains staunchly constant: “You should sharply limit your intake of saturated fats.” But will saturated fats really increase your risk of heart disease and raise your cholesterol? In a word, no. In fact, humans need them, and here are just a few reasons why."

Despite Anti-Vitamin D Bias, CDC Stumbles on Deficiency Link to H1N1 Deaths

"So far, Swine flu, H1N1, has killed thirty-six children in U.S. and analysis of CDC data indicates Vitamin D deficient children at higher risk of death.

The CDC did not realize they discovered this. However, anyone familiar with the Vitamin D literature will recognize it."

What you need in life

"Once you believe that answers and resources can show up in your life, they will: The universe works to mirror your beliefs. It will prove you right every time."

Peggy McColl

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lutherans and "evangelicals"

What is it with the Lutheran obsession (not all Lutherans, but especially in a certain faction of the LCMS) with the term "evangelical"?

"Evangelical" -- in America, at least -- means a broad, conservative, Bible-believing group of Christians.

It does not mean "Lutheran."

Maybe it did. Maybe 150 years ago. It doesn't now.

Anyone who wants to "reclaim" a word doesn't understand the nature of language. Languages change. And the meaning is what the meaning is in current parlance. Not what you might want it to mean. And changing the way people use words is very, very difficult.

I always use the example of "gay," because it's such an apt example.

"Gay" once meant happy, cheerful, a little flamboyant. (Prior to, maybe, 1950 in most places).

Then there was a maybe 50 year span when it came to mean "homosexual."

Now -- in the mouths of 19 year olds -- it has acquired the additional connotation of dorky, stupid, or dumb.

If you're Lutheran and want to call yourself "evangelical," fine. Same if you're Lutheran and want to call yourself "catholic." It's OK, really. But just explain yourself every time you use the terms, because you're not either, and it just leads to confusion.

Positive attitudes

"Individuals who are positive in their thoughts always tend to look upon the brighter side of life. With their faces turned toward the sunshine, they attempt to see the good, even in the bad. Such individuals habitually think thoughts of a positive nature and they are a blessing to the world. They are in a positive vibration, and therefore attract other positive personalities to them."

Bob Proctor

Friday, September 18, 2009

This weekend in Raleigh

Tomorrow's my culturista day: heading over to Raleigh for a performance of Swan Lake in the afternoon (2 p.m.) Then, dinner with the family at our son Matt's house, and then to a performance of Amadeus, featuring friend Andrew Payne in the role of Salieri. (Andrew's in the left corner of the picture above).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak": Song of Solomon 7.9

Origen suggested that Plato was acquainted with Solomon's writings.

This was because Solomon had written about ethics (in Proverbs), about nature (in Ecclesiastes) and contemplation (in Solomon's Song).

How our thoughts affect us

"There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge; both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought."

Napoleon Hill

Your choice

"Being miserable is a habit. Being happy is a habit. The choice is yours."

Tom Hopkins
Sales Trainer

Many Health Workers Won't Take Swine Flu Vaccine

"Surveys and focus groups show that health care workers, as well as members of the general public, may avoid getting swine flu shots when supplies become available this fall."

Your Appendix is Useful After All

"Your appendix is a slimy sac that hangs between your small and large intestines. It has long been thought of as a worthless evolutionary artifact, good for nothing except a potentially lethal case of inflammation. But now researchers suggest that your appendix is a lot more than a useless remnant."

The Last Gasps of Literate Christianity

"The comment wasn't all that unusual, but it has stuck in my head for weeks now. "Mr. Spencer, does it matter if I don't read the Bible?" The student speaking was one of my juniors, attractive and smart, and one of the more visible, serious Christians on our little Christian school campus. I could have simply answered the question with yet another admonition on the importance of Bible reading, but the question struck me as representing much more. It hit me right in a developing hypothesis that has taken up more and more of my thinking recently: We are living in the last gasps of literate Christianity."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I am responsible

"I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself."

Walter Anderson

The Simple Inexpensive Way to Radically Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

"Low levels of vitamin D are known to nearly double the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes, and researchers now think they know why."

Pervasive B12 Deficiency Affects Millions

"B12 deficiency is common in elderly patients. One study revealed a prevalence of 12 percent among elderly people. Other studies, focusing on those who are in institutions or who are sick and malnourished, have suggested a higher prevalence of 30 percent to 40 percent. Unfortunately, B12 deficiency is often unrecognized because the clinical manifestations can be very subtle. In fact, one of its manifestations -- mild memory loss -- can mimic the early stages of dementia."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Faith and fear

"You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith."

Mary Manin Morrissey

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The 'Wisdom' Of The Clunker Program...

A bored statistician has been busy again...

A vehicle at getting 15 mpg and doing 12,000 miles per year uses 800 gallons a year of gasoline.

A vehicle at getting 25 mpg and doing 12,000 miles per year uses 480 gallons a year.

So, getting rid of each average clunker will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per clunker per year.

They claim 700,000 vehicles were taken in during the clunker program - so that's 224 million gallons per year saved.

That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil.

5 million barrels of oil is about 1/4 of one day's US consumption.

And, 5 million barrels of oil costs about $350 million dollars at $75 a barrel.

So, we all contributed to the spending of $3 billion save $350 million.

NSA offering 'billions' for Skype eavesdrop solution

This is very amusing, and good news, as well. Anything that thwarts the busybodies at the various government spy agencies is a good thing. If they did nothing else right, Skype should get our business for that reason alone.

"News of a possible viable business model for P2P VoIP network Skype emerged today, at the Counter Terror Expo in London. An industry source disclosed that America's supersecret National Security Agency (NSA) is offering "billions" to any firm which can offer reliable eavesdropping on Skype IM and voice traffic.

The spybiz exec, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed that Skype continues to be a major problem for government listening agencies, spooks and police. This was already thought to be the case, following requests from German authorities for special intercept/bugging powers to help them deal with Skype-loving malefactors. Britain's GCHQ has also stated that it has severe problems intercepting VoIP and internet communication in general."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another previously admired leader falls: this time, Thatcher

This is repulsive news. I'm not surprised that Thatcher wanted it kept secret. "Shame" is the word that comes to mind. I was never surprised that the mealy-mouthed time-server Bush, Sr., expressed no enthusiasm for the freedom that swept eastern Europe and Russia, 1989-1991. But I expected better of Thatcher. I was wrong. It was all an act.

"Two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Margaret Thatcher told President Gorbachev that neither Britain nor Western Europe wanted the reunification of Germany and made clear that she wanted the Soviet leader to do what he could to stop it."

A modest 9/11 proposal

It's almost cliched to -- when speaking about 9/11 -- to say, "the 9/11 attacks."

Calling them by this rubric colors the discussion with the US government's spin on that day's tragedy.

What I'd recommend is a more neutral term. When speaking about that day 8 years ago, I'd suggest "the 9/11 events."

Such a term encompasses the events in New York and Washington, but recognizes that there were all kinds of anomalous happenings that day that are still unexplained: the crash of the airliner in Pennsylvania, the fall of WTC 7 that afternoon, the stand-down of the US defenses that morning, and the unexplained options trades in the stock markets in the weeks prior to 9/11, among other things.

History is important. This is an event which I think will be remembered a thousand years from now, and it should be described in ways that encompass all of what happened that day, and in the days prior.

Peter Dale Scott: JFK & 9/11 - Insights Gained From Studying Both

I've mentioned before that I like to use youtube as a learning tool when I need to do thought-free paperwork. This is a series that -- coincidentally -- found yesterday, the day before the 8th anniversary of the 9/11 events. Scott is a thoughtful and careful researcher from whom I've learned a great deal. I commend him to you as well. I don't agree with him on some things, but find him insightful and thought-provoking. This is the first of 6 videos. They're not flashy or glitzy, but you will learn from them. Especially today, when we remember the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Body and spirit

"The health of your body influences what you experience in your mind. There is no split. If you can engage your whole spirit in the pursuit of total fitness - not just your intellect, not just your emotions - but instead everything inside you that is truly you, you'll discover what it is to be a whole person."

David Patchell-Evans

Why You Should Avoid Red Rice Yeast

"Red yeast rice, a mainstay of Chinese medicine since ancient times, is emerging in drug stores and vitamin shops as a natural tool to lower cholesterol. The substance is actually derived from a fungus that grows on rice and is eaten as a dietary staple in certain Asian countries.

As its popularity grows, I wanted to share some important information, and a warning of sorts, about red yeast rice."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Attitude and limitations

"Most of the limitations you think you have are the ones you have decided on. They are often entirely self-imposed. You might think, 'I can't do this, I can't do that, I would never do that, my parents could never do that, I never played baseball, I never climbed a mountain, I never, never, never'... It's the old broken record in your head. Throw out that negative thinking right now! Learn to play a positive message in your head because it's all about attitude."

David Patchell-Evans

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Pursuing a dream

"You must go after your wish. As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning."

Barbara Sher

Monday, September 07, 2009

To have a few books

"Traveling through the present, but aware of the past, it is a good thing also to have a few books. Not too many; that would be crushing. Marco Polo is good; William of Rubruck in some ways is better. Best of all, I think, would be the old Mongol epic chronicle called the Secret History. I did not have that in those days, but I did have a modern Mongol chronicle, very romantic but embodying a lot of old material. Arash used to snort at it, but it gave me a lot of ideas for starting conversations. Keeping the books in mind, you can compare the formal record of history and of old travelers with the patchwork legends current in our own time, in which Chinese and Mongol elements and the history of dynasties hundreds of years apart are all mixed up. In this way you can sometimes get a deep and vivid sense of the double character of history, as continuity and change."

Owen Lattimore, Mongol Journeys, p. 123, 1941

The most wonderful day

"If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time, not tomorrow or next year. Today should always be our most wonderful day."

Thomas Dreier

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What schools are

"First, though, we must wake up to what our schools really are: laboratories of experimentation on young minds, drill centers for the habits and attitudes that corporate society demands. Mandatory education serves children only incidentally; its real purpose is to turn them into servants. Don't let your own have their childhoods extended, not even for a day. If David Farragut could take command of a captured British warship as a pre-teen, if Thomas Edison could publish a broadsheet at the age of twelve, if Ben Franklin could apprentice himself to a printer at the same age (then put himself through a course of study that would choke a Yale senior today), there's no telling what your own kids could do. After a long life, and thirty years in the public school trenches, I've concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven't yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves."

John Taylor Gatto

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Familiar Face, New Models: How to Be a Journalism Entrepreneur

What affects us

"Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us."

Stephen R. Covey
Author and Speaker

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Doing more than you have to

"No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction."

Charles Kendall Adams
1835-1902, Professor of History and Author

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Warning: Swine Flu Shot Linked to Killer Nerve Disease

"A warning that the swine flu vaccine has been linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the UK Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter.

The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, was leaked to The Daily Mail, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins."

What you want in life

"Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it."

Diane Sawyer
TV Personality

Monday, August 31, 2009

Kennedy and the KGB

Since I don't read Russian, I have no way to evaluate the nuances of this story. But it's another in the interesting line of stories just emerging after Edward Kennedy's death last week.

"Shortly after the announcement of Ted Kennedy's death, I had already received several interview requests. I declined them, not wanting to be uncharitable to the man upon his death. Since then, I've seen the need to step up and provide some clarification.

The issue is a remarkable 1983 KGB document on Kennedy, which I published in my 2006 book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (HarperCollins). The document is a May 14, 1983 memo from KGB head Victor Chebrikov to his boss, the odious Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, designated with the highest classification. It concerns a confidential offer to the Soviet leadership by Senator Kennedy. The target: President Ronald Reagan."

Was Princess Diana's death caused by the French health system?

"The horrific accident illustrated the difference between the French and U.S. approaches to emergency care -- a relatively small piece of the French medical system, but deemed by some people to be the best in the world and often cited as a model for U.S. health care overhaul.

When rescue workers arrived, Diana was conscious, uttering, "My God" and "Leave me alone" to the swarming paparazzi. Although she had suffered internal injuries, she did not arrive at the Parisian hospital for 110 minutes -- too late for the surgery that some speculated could have saved her life."

Looking far ahead

"Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road."

Dag Hammarskjold
1905-1961, Statesman and Secretary-General of U.N.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

From the compassionate Senator: "Kennedy 'joked about Chappaquiddick' Biographer reveals deadly incident was a 'favorite topic of humor'"

"One of Sen. Ted Kennedy's favorite topics of humor was the incident at Chappaquiddick Island, Mass., in 1969 in which he drove off a bridge and left behind a 28-year-old woman who drowned, according to a biographer who reminisced about the iconic Democrat on a Washington, D.C., talk show this morning."

How to Keep Your Teeth From Dissolving

"Researchers have warned people to beware of the damage that acidic beverages have on teeth. Yet, for some, the damage and problems associated with drinking sodas, citric juices, or certain teas may have already begun to take effect.

In a recent study, Dr. Mohamed A. Bassiouny revealed three steps to rehabilitate teeth that suffer from dental erosion as a result of the excessive consumption of these products."

Whey Protein Improves Heart Health

"A whey-protein-rich ingredient may improve blood vessel function in healthy individuals, reports a new randomized, double-blind study.

Two weeks of supplementation resulted in a 1.5 percent improvement in blood flow. According to the researchers, the whey protein-derived ingredient may work via an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory activity.

ACE inhibitors work by inhibiting the conversion of angiotensin I to the potent vasoconstrictor, angiotensin II, thereby improving blood flow and blood pressure."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What you haven't done

"You'll seldom experience regret for anything that you've done. It is what you haven't done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you've lost them forever."

Wayne Dyer
Author and Speaker

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"From the beginning": Echoes of Genesis 1.1 in the gospel of John

John 1.1 ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God") is the most obvious echo in the gospel of Genesis 1.1 ("In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.")

However, there are other echoes, especially in chapters 7 and 8. But the most compelling one I see is in 8.25:

"Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning."

"From the beginning," and "in the beginning" indicate eternity, especially the eternity of God. That Jesus describes Himself as having spoken something "from the beginning" is -- in Johannine writings -- a clear indication of divinity.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Suncream may be linked to Alzheimer's disease, say experts "

"The frightening possibility of Alzheimer's disease being induced by suncream is being investigated by academics."

Believing the scripture

"When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."

We sometimes like to make a dichotomy between Jesus' words and the written scriptures.

But there is no dichotomy here. Instead, the disciples believed (trusted in) the written word. They likewise trusted in the words spoken by Jesus. The 2 go together. Making a false dichotomy solves no problems, and instead puts a wedge into the biblical faith.

"Had ye believed Moses ... "

Pondering the connection in John 5.46-47.

Jesus makes a direct connection between believing Moses, and believing Him (that is, Christ).

"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"

2 connections, positive ("had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me") and negative ("if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?")

I'm all for strong, hard-nosed research. I'm for asking hard questions. But our -- as a culture -- doubts about Moses has led to our current doubts about Christ. The 2 go together. They have to.

What Soviet Medicine Teaches Us

This is an important -- and thought-provoking -- article. The author is Yuri N. Maltsev, who worked as an economist on Mikhail Gorbachev's economic reform team before defecting to the United States.

"In 1918, the Soviet Union became the first country to promise universal "cradle-to-grave" healthcare coverage, to be accomplished through the complete socialization of medicine. The "right to health" became a "constitutional right" of Soviet citizens.

The proclaimed advantages of this system were that it would "reduce costs" and eliminate the "waste" that stemmed from "unnecessary duplication and parallelism" — i.e., competition."

Obama's death march continues: when will we stop cutting this pseudo-liberal Obama so much slack?

"KABUL, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Four U.S. servicemen with the NATO-led force were killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the alliance said, making 2009 the deadliest year for foreign troops since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001."

How humor helps

"Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."

Grenville Kleiser
1868-1953, Author

Monday, August 24, 2009


I was just thinking about how much I love milk.

There. I said it. In our current fat and carb and cholesterol obsessed time, I like milk.

Whole milk, in case you were wondering. One of my brothers once said that drinking whole milk was like drinking bacon fat.

Well, given that I like fairly chewy bacon, I guess I have to plead guilty. (My wife sometimes buys the lean bacon, and I wonder: what's the point? Bacon should be disgustingly fatty. That's what makes it good).

Skim milk is for pussies. Or women. Men should drink whole milk, the kind with a taste that pampers your tongue.

When I first got out of college, I had no money. And it was a sacrifice, but I drank nearly a gallon of milk a day. I still go through huge amounts.

Because it's good. And fun to drink. And -- in the end -- quite good for you. What other things can claim that?

How to be distinguished

"There is only one way in the world to be distinguished. Follow your instinct! Be yourself, and you'll be somebody. Be one more blind follower of the blind, and you will have the oblivion you desire."

Bliss Carman
1861-1929, Poet

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Eat Fat With Tomatoes to Absorb All the Nutrients

"Tomatoes are a good source of the antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene. But if you eat a tomato without adding a little fat, your body is unlikely to absorb all these nutrients."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Talks Michael Pritchard's water filter turns filthy water drinkable

Working toward a goal

"If we fix a goal and work towards it, then we are never just passing time."

Anna Neagle

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Enjoying every minute

"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored."

Earl Nightingale
1921-1989, Author and Radio Announcer

Black Tea Fights Diabetes

"Black tea, long known for its antioxidants, immune boosting and antihypertensive properties, could have another health benefit.

Researchers studied the polysaccharide levels of green, oolong and black teas and whether they could be used to treat diabetes."

Reader's Digest plans prearranged bankruptcy

This is, I suspect, a victim not so much of the internet (most Reader's Digest subscribers probably don't use the net that often) but of demographics: their subscribers are elderly, and literally dying off. The current economy didn't help, either, but this is a magazine that has weathered decades (it was founded in 1922). Economies can be weathered. Demographics are harder to shake.

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reader's Digest Association Inc, whose namesake magazine has been a staple of dentists' offices for generations, said on Monday it planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for its U.S. businesses as part of a prearranged plan with lenders to cut debt by 75 percent."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Anything you want

"You can have anything you want - if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, have anything you desire, accomplish anything you set out to accomplish - if you will hold to that desire with singleness of purpose."

Robert Collier
Writer and Publisher

What To Do If Force Vaccinated

The hysteria about swine flu continues unabated. While the reality is that swine flu -- clinically speaking -- is no different from your average, garden-variety flu that comes around every year, there is a really dangerous trend toward forcing vaccinations -- especially for health and medical providers -- for this flu. Here are some suggestions if you are forced to be vaccinated.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How to Beat and Prevent Osteoporosis Naturally

"(NaturalNews) As we age, our bones begin to erode, which to some extent is normal and a natural result of aging. However, some of us lose so much bone that our skeletons become weakened and deformed and in severe cases we incur loss of bone density in multiple places. That is osteoporosis, and it frequently causes fractures of the hip, spine and forearm. At its worst, bones can become so frail that they can crack and break under the body's own weight!"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Obama's Tone-Deaf Health Campaign

"It didn't take chaotic town-hall meetings, raging demonstrators and consequent brooding in various sectors of the media to bring home the truth that the campaign for a health-care bill is, to put it mildly, not going awfully well. It's not hard now to envision the state of this crusade with just a month or two more of diligent management by the Obama team—think train wreck. It may one day be otherwise in the more perfect world of universal coverage, but for now disabilities like the tone deafness that afflicts this administration from the top down are uninsurable."

Doing the right thing

"People of character do the right thing, not because they think it will change the world but because they refuse to be changed by the world."

Michael Josephson
Radio Commentator

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Obama's healthcare horror

Some more great insights -- on health care reform, Pelosi, Palin, Obama, and class differences in America -- from Camille Paglia:

"And what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the "mob" -- a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech."

Living consciously

"Living consciously involves being genuine; it involves listening and responding to others honestly and openly; it involves being in the moment."

Sidney Poitier
Actor and Author

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Culture and politics

"The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself."

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

"Take that off, you look ridiculous!"

Bad Vestments

Why socialism doesn't work

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

Baroness Margaret Thatcher

10 Lepers

I'm trying to puzzle out some connections that seems to be floating around Luke 17.11-19:

"And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."

First off, the number of the lepers -- 10 -- seems pertinent. (My rule of thumb: if the Bible gives a number, it's important. It's our job to figure out why it's important).

I'm wondering if there's any relation to the contemporary Jewish requirement that there be a minyan (a minimum of 10 men) to hold certain religious rites, including public worship. I don't know if the 10 rule was already observed in first century Palestine. The bigger question I'm wondering is whether this was a synagogue. Would lepers -- being ritually unclean -- have had separate synagogues?

Also -- could the 10 hearken back to Gen. 18.32? ("And he said, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.") The number in Gen. 18 is used in some rabbinic arguments for the minimum for a minyan. In Luke 17, there were not 10 found to give thanks. But there was one, and he a "stranger." (Possibly indicating a non-Jew, or a Samaritan (vs. 11) Jew, or a God-fearing gentile).

"The International Community"

Another piece from Voice of America which begins, "The international community expresses outrage ..."

Always remember: when the term "international community" is used, it's a code. It means actions or thoughts which are approved the current US administration, and US poodles around the world.

The US will tolerate any kind of dictatorial actions, heinous crimes, or repression. What will not be tolerated are countries which will not bow the knee to the US.

This is why, for example, China or Israel can commit grievous human rights abuses, while if North Korea or Libya do the same thing, it sets off the Hillary doll. It's because the North Koreans and Libyans don't care if they please the US. That's the one (and only) offense we won't tolerate.

Circumstances and disposition

"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."

Martha Washington
1732-1802, First American First Lady

Monday, August 10, 2009

Catholic churches -- Roman and otherwise

When I was a student at Moody Bible Institute, a church history professor that Rome was not "catholic" (in the "universal" sense) because of its name: The Roman Catholic Church.

Either Rome was Catholic or Roman, but it couldn't be both, or so he argued.

I repeated this once in an online discussion, and someone called me on the carpet, saying that Roman churches called themselves "Catholic," but not "Roman Catholic," and that RC was a term used by those who disagreed with Rome.

I started looking, and realized that the one who said that was right. Roman churches don't call themselves Roman Catholic.

But I saw something interesting yesterday. It was a young child's baptismal certificate, and while it said "Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church," it said that the baptism was "according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church."

I'm guessing they used the term in contradistinction to the rites used by Eastern Catholic churches, which are in fellowship with Rome, but use a Byzantine rite. Anyone else seen Rome using "Roman Catholic" to describe herself?

Eliminating mess

"Write a goal every single month to eliminate a mess from your life, and when you do - abundance will come in."

Raymond Aaron
Success Coach and Speaker

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Lex orandi and transubstantiation

If we follow from the argument (Lex ordandi, lex credendi) that what is found in the liturgy is what is really believed, or at least the most succinct distillation of what is believed, I'm wondering how 2 crucial parts of the liturgy can permit belief in a remaining presence of bread and wine in the Sacramental meal.

Specifically, these:

1) When the communicant receives the elements, he is told, "The Body of Christ," and "The Blood of Christ." If there is a presence of both Body and bread, Blood and wine (the Lutheran doctrine), why is there no mention of the bread and wine? Most Lutherans would argue that a continuing presence of bread and wine is a confessional statement; why no mention of that in the formula?

2) The singing of the Nunc Dimittis after the Communion.

"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel." (BCP, 1662)

St. Simeon, of course, had seen the Incarnate God there in the Temple. But by singing this, we are confessing not that we believe we have received, but that we have seen the Savior. "Seen" as in a visual, seeing of the Savior. We are not confessing to seeing bread or wine -- we are confessing that we have seen the Savior.

There are other questions, of course, about transubstantiation, but these seem to be important liturgical ones.

A French Revelation, or The Burning Bush

I've got to admit to being a bit uncomfortable posting this. Primarily because I disagree with the Council for Secular Humanism, and what they stand for. But they have done us a favor by bringing this to our attention.

The take home message from this? Watch for someone's theology. Especially for someone we're putting in a position of power.

People who imagine that theology (religious faith, beliefs, however you wish to describe it) can be separated from our day to day lives are kidding themselves.

Theology is the most important thing we can know about someone. And every one has a theology. Both "there is no theology" or "I don't believe in God" are theological statements. Likewise those attributed to George W. Bush in this article.

"Incredibly, President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse."

How We Can Lead Others in the Health Care Revolution

"There are a lot of things we want to change, but in order to succeed, we decided to target the areas where we could be most successful. We came up with a strategy that is really modeled after how the shift occurred in the tobacco industry. After decades of mass fraud and deception, the truth about the dangers of smoking finally won and became common knowledge."

Behind The Clinton 'Rescue' In North Korea

"The capture of two US reporters of Chinese descent, who worked for Al Gore, and their subsequent rescue from North Korea's clutches by former President Bill Clinton was a setup from the beginning. Nothing reported about this story comes close to the real truth. As I covered the story in a prior brief, the initial capture of the reporters on the frozen Yalu River (where no one could prove which side of the China-NK border they were really on) was a predictable tactic used by North Korea to obtain secret concessions from the US."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Where you're going

"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else!"

"Yogi" Berra
Baseball Player and Team Manager

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Doing good

"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."

William Penn
1644-1718, Religious Leader and founder of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Seeing good

"The world can change in an instant. So can the way you choose to see it. Why not choose to see the good in yourself and others."

Bob Perks
Author and Speaker

Monday, August 03, 2009

Reasons and results

"Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait. The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don't count."

Dr. Robert Anthony

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Obama's revealing body language

"I am stunned that the official White House Blog published this picture and that it is in the public domain. The body language is most revealing.

Sergeant Crowley, the sole class act in this trio, helps the handicapped Professor Gates down the stairs, while Barack Obama, heedless of the infirmities of his friend and fellow victim of self-defined racial profiling, strides ahead on his own. So who is compassionate? And who is so self-involved and arrogant that he is oblivious?"

Friday, July 31, 2009


I'm intrigued by sounds that we can't make.

Sounds that a 2 year old routinely say are impossible for adult (or even later child) learners to master. The most obvious example are the click consonants found in some southern African languages, such as Xhosa, which I'm told are virtually impossible to master after infancy. Here's an example of such:

But there are other, less egregious examples that are nonetheless still hard for language learners. I was listening to a video this morning. A Dutch speaker was speaking in English pronounced "with" as "wis." The English "th" sound is one of those difficult for native Dutch speakers to master. (I'm reminded of a book I read in high school in which a native Dutch speaker, attempting to learn English spoke of having to exaggeratedly say, for example, "thee-ank you" to try to get the sound out).

But our friends in Amsterdam aren't the first, of course. Judges 12.5-6 recounts the first recorded such problem:

"And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The world as a mirror

"The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are. If you are loving, if you are friendly, if you are helpful, the world will prove loving and friendly and helpful to you. The world is what you are."

Thomas Dreier

The 3rd Bush administration

I tend to ignore random political comments from bystanders.

A woman pressed the issue this morning. Looking for something at Wal Mart, she said, "Everything's so expensive now!"

I grunted, or made some noise indicating that I'd heard the comment.

She repeated herself, and said, "Don't you think so?" The best response I could come up with was, "They're cheaper here than they would be elsewhere."

She continued. Don't get me wrong: she was a nice person, not a nut, and probably just being friendly. "What do you think they're going to do about health care?"

For me, the good news is I don't think they're going to do much of anything. In other words, their status quo will mean that we retain what parts of our health freedom we still have.

But I said something non-committal, like "I'm sure they're trying to do something," hoping she would be satisfied. She wasn't. She went on to the point of this discussion, "What do you think about what the president's doing?"

Sigh. I feel bad for the true believers. Month after painful month goes along, and this train wreck of a presidency continues to do nothing. But for the believers, it's hard to watch. It reminds me of the reactions of conservatives to the Bush administration. Action after action showed conservatives that Bush was not one of them, and had no intention of rewarding their support.

Now our friends who supported Obama have come to realize that this is yet another imperialist, big government, war-mongering administration. They desperately want to believe that what they're seeing is not true. Many of them imagined that Obama promised things he didn't (such as about the wars). Now reality is setting in. They keep thinking things will get better, that this administration will show a more progressive, enlightened face. It won't. But realizing that is hard.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Creativity, thinking, and guts

"Be creative. Use unconventional thinking. And have the guts to carry it out."

Lee Iacocca
Automobile Executive and Author

The flu and those who don't understand health

"The lottery, they say, is a tax on people who can't do math. Similarly, flu vaccines are a tax on people who don't understand health."

Mike Adams, The Health Ranger

(My only difference would be this: flu vaccines are attacks on people who don't understand health).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Habits of success

"You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event - it is a habit."

384-322 BC, Greek Philosopher and Scientist

Chlorine in Your Baby Carrots

"The small cocktail or “baby” carrots you buy are made using the larger crooked or deformed carrots which are put through a machine which cuts and shapes them into cocktail carrots. You might have known that already. But what you might not know is that once the carrots are cut and shaped into cocktail carrots, they are dipped in a solution of water and chlorine in order to preserve them."

Why are the Chinese Government and the US Drug Companies So Afraid of Facebook and Twitter?

"Following riots in the western region of Xinjiang, China’s central government has taken steps to block citizens from accessing foreign Web services. In addition to crippling Internet service in general, the authorities have blocked Twitter, removed unapproved references to the violence from search engines, and have now apparently moved to bar citizens from accessing Facebook."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dr. John Cannell: "Get vitamin D not the flu shot"

The presence of cheerful people

"You will find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make earnest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy."

Lydia M. Child
1802-1880, Abolitionist and Writer

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Peggy Noonan: Common Sense May Sink ObamaCare

"This is big, what’s happening. President Obama appears to have misstepped on a major initiative and defining issue. He has misjudged the nation’s mood, which itself is news: He rose from nothing to everything with the help of his fine-tuned antennae. Resistance to the Democratic health-care plans is in the air, showing up more now on YouTube than in the polls, but it will be in the polls soon enough. The president, in short, may be facing a real loss."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Exercise Fights Fatty Liver Disease

"Currently, patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are encouraged to alter their lifestyles, but the focus has been on weight loss through dietary changes. But when patients were encouraged to be active for at least 150 minutes per week, they showed improvements in liver enzymes and other metabolic indices, which were not connected to weight loss."

A Kidney Stone's #1 Natural Enemy

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oil Pulling is a Simple, Inexpensive Method to Improve Your Health

"(NaturalNews) How do we break the inflammation cycle and encourage the body to operate at a heightened level of efficiency? Ayurvedic practitioners employ oil pulling as a simple, but powerful means to encourage the body in this process. By swishing sesame oil in one`s mouth, first thing in the morning, one stimulates the digestive system as well as the blood to cleanse and feed cells of the various organs. In this way, the stress that inflammation places on these organs decreases."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Being serious

"The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous."

Margaret Fontey

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not with man's words

"But in all these speculations let our understanding have sufficient coherence with the rule of piety, and let us think of the Holy Spirit's words not as something that shines as a speech fashioned by frail human eloquence, but, as it is written, 'All the king's glory is within.' (Psalm 44.14 LXX - 45.13) and the treasure of divine meanings is confined, shut up within the frail vessel of the common letter (cf. 2 Cor. 4.7)."

Origen, On First Principles, "How Scripture should be understood"

What happens when you create

"When you create you get a little endorphin rush. Why do you think Einstein looked like that?"

Robin Williams

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Learn How Banaba Leaf Extract Can Promote Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

"(NaturalNews) Diabetes and insulin resistance have swept the nation - and with them, a growing list of pharmaceutical drugs that cause as many problems as they solve, if not more. Many diabetes drugs now carry warning labels about their dangerous side effects, which can include an increased risk of heart failure. There's no question as to why so many people are searching for natural alternatives, like banaba leaf extract, that can help them manage blood sugar."

Vitamin D Crisis Unfolds as Americans Live Indoors

"(NaturalNews) Seventy percent of whites and 97 percent of blacks in the United States have insufficient blood levels of vitamin D, according to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Colorado, and published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine."

Improving your aim

"When the archer misses the mark, he turns and looks for the fault within himself. Failure to hit the bull's eye is never the fault of the target. To improve your aim - improve yourself."

Gilbert Arland

Monday, July 20, 2009

Changing things

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

R. Buckminster Fuller
1895-1983, Architect, Author and Inventor

Friday, July 17, 2009

If you're worried about swine flu

Are you worried about swine flu?

Lots of folks are. Although the reality is that swine flu is no different from any other flu that millions get every year. Although that's not to take away how nasty flu is -- it's uncomfortable, it hurts, and under the worst circumstances, it can be deadly.

This is some very, very good advice for those concerned about this or any other flu.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What you want

"Beware what you set your heart upon. For it shall surely be yours."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882, Poet and Essayist

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Making progress

"Behold the turtle: He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out."

James Bryant Conant
1893-1978, Educator and Diplomat

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."

Walter Winchell
1897-1972, Journalist

Monday, July 13, 2009

What you are struggling with

"The forces you are struggling with, that you feel are holding you back - are illusions. They are not real - they never have been. See only the good that you desire in your mind."

Bob Proctor

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Researchers Find Caffeine Effective Alzheimer’s Treatment

"If you happen to be a heavy coffee drinker, you might be helping your brain protect itself from Alzheimer’s disease.

While a number of advanced Alzheimer’s drugs and treatments have been developed in recent years, University of Florida researcher Gary Arendash believes coffee drinkers -- and other caffeine consumers -- are not just protecting themselves, but actually treating symptoms that might appear."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Getting rid of the unwanted: breathtaking comments from Justice Ginsburg

"Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion."

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Ginsburg

Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to stop spitting on them

"A few weeks ago, a senior Greek Orthodox clergyman in Israel attended a meeting at a government office in Jerusalem's Givat Shaul quarter. When he returned to his car, an elderly man wearing a skullcap came and knocked on the window. When the clergyman let the window down, the passerby spat in his face"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cancer Screening: Does It Really Save Lives?

"(NaturalNews) Anne is a good patient. She sees her doctor for regular checkups, has yearly mammograms, Pap tests, and colon cancer screenings, and she even paid for a full-body CT scan out of her own pocket. She figures she's doing everything she can to make sure she doesn't get cancer.

Truth is, Anne is doing nothing to prevent cancer. Although cancer screening is billed as a preventive service that saves lives, the best it can do is detect disease in its early stages, when it is supposedly easier to treat. Nevertheless, every year millions of Americans dutifully line up for their screenings, completely unaware that they may be doing more harm than good."

Unvisited tombs

" ... for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”

Mary Ann Evans (writing as George Eliot) in Middlemarch

Thursday, July 09, 2009


"To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can."

Og Mandino
1923-1996, Author and Speaker

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Becoming a saint

"Who is there who has escaped the belly of the whale that swallows up every fugitive from God but has been subdued by Jesus our Savior, that does not become like Jonah a saint filled with the Holy Spirit?"

Origen, On Prayer

'Shakespeare' by Another Name: an Amazon review

"William Shakespeare appears in history as a moderately successful businessman and theater promoter of whom relatively little biographical information is known. On the other hand, the plays, sonnets and poetry attributed to Shakespeare are well known, and still loved over 400 years later. What's difficult is connecting Shakespeare the man and Shakespeare the author and playwright. Mark Anderson (following in the path of many before him) posits that there's no need to try to connect the two -- because the author is, in fact, Edward de Vere.

This is a well-written and copiously footnoted book, a biography of de Vere which also makes the case for de Vere's authorship of the Shakespeare canon. In addition, the book gives a well-written and insightful view of late 16th century England and of life in Queen Elizabeth's reign. It's scholarly and entertaining -- a combination not usually found."

His Blood be on us

What sounds like a self-imprecation is more a blessing -- though those who said it probably didn't realize what they were saying.

Matthew 27.24-25: "When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children."

Compare this with Exodus 29.21: "And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him."

By the sprinkling of blood, Aaron and his sons were made holy.

So those in the crowd who begged for Jesus' death.

His Blood was on them -- and they were hallowed by it. Hebrews 9.22: "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

(Also worth thinking about is Ezekiel 36.25, a passage showing a pre-incarnation example of Baptism: "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you."

What makes good things happen

"All I want to do is just go out there and play hard. If I do that, good things will happen. It's as simple as that."

Carlos Pena
All-Star Baseball Player

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Conflicting philosophies

"'Philosophies that are incompatible cannot debate one another. There must be some common ground, some problem of life which both accept as crucial and to which the philosophies offer different answers. Otherwise instead of a debate there is simply the revelation of different premises or different concepts of the function of philosophy.' Between Christianity and Marxism there can be no meaningful 'dialogue.' Charles Hodge, the great 19th-century Calvinist theologian, put it this way: the last issue of history will be the conflict between 'Atheism and its countless forms and Calvinism. The other systems will be crushed as the half-rotten ice between two great bergs.' Neither the consistent Marxist nor the consistent Christian can hope for a reconciliation between the two systems; it is a question of total intellectual warfare. Members of both sides are convinced that their ultimate triumph is inevitable. The issue is basically a conflict in the realm of faith."

Gary North, Marx's Religion of Revolution, p. 3


I suffered from math instruction throughout my childhood.

(In their defense, my teachers no doubt suffered more than I ever did. But that's another story. : )

But friend and aerospace engineer Dean Driver has come up with a system that perhaps makes math learning less painful for the math-phobic like myself. I'm not one to evaluate the merits of the system, but it seems like a good place to start.


The Most Powerful Health Recommendation of Dr. Andrew Weil

Those who are happy

"We deem those happy who from the experience of life have learnt to bear its ills without being overcome by them."

Carl Jung
1875-1961, Psychiatrist

'Life Force' Linked to Your Ability to Withstand Stress

"Your ability to withstand stress-related, inflammatory diseases may be related to your personality. Especially in aging women, a lack of the personality trait known as extroversion may signal that blood levels of a key inflammatory molecule have crossed over a threshold linked to a doubling of risk of death within five years."

Monday, July 06, 2009

Yesterday, tomorrow -- and today

"Yesterday is a canceled check: Forget it. Tomorrow is a promissory note: Don't count on it. Today is ready cash: Use it!"

Edwin C. Bliss

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Who blew up the London subways on 7/7/05?

Americans -- and the rest of the world -- continues to suffer from the shock of the 9/11 events. What we sometimes forget is that a similar incident occurred in London on July 7, 2005, when there was a series of monumental subway explosions. As with the events on 9/11/01, the official explanations of the 7/7 events have odd holes in the stories. This is a fairly good introduction to the anomalies of the 7/7 official story.

Conspiracy fever: As rumours swell that the government staged 7/7, victims' relatives call for a proper inquiry

Israeli authorities threaten demolition of 500 church buildings in Jerusalem

"Israeli forces have recently stepped up demolitions in the Old City of Jerusalem, in accordance with the Municipality's published E1 plan for the city, in which officials articulate a detailed plan to push out the Palestinian Christian and Muslim populations, while simultaneously increasing construction of Jewish-only homes and housing developments."

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Experience the many benefits of coconut oil

Why cutting calories isn't the answer to losing weight

If one of your goals is to lose weight (believe it or not, I'm thinking in terms of Independence Day here in the States -- declaring your independence from fat!), you've heard over and over that the secret to losing weight is to take in less calories than you expend in exercise.

That's a fallacy.

Here's why:

Friday, July 03, 2009


"Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The greatest gift

"The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example."

Thomas Morell
1703-1784, Classical Scholar

Can Your Diet Prevent Depression?

"Depression is an established risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease (CHD). Dietary factors resulting in lower levels of omega-3 fats not only increase CHD risk, but may also cause depression."

Agave: A Triumph of Marketing over Truth

"The popularity of agave syrup, also called agave nectar, is on a meteoric rise -- thanks in large part to clever marketing which positions the product as a healthy alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners."