March 2010 Archives

Persecution and Witness in Morocco

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moroccan-women.jpgIn the past month Morocco has been shaken by a series of disquieting events, events that have been surprisingly underreported in the Western media.

Dozens of foreigners, including a large number of Americans, have been deported for proselytism. Adoptive parents working in an orphanage have been torn away from their crying children with only a few hours' notice. And in the wake of these expulsions, Moroccans have been encouraged in the media to suspect all foreigners as evangelists and pedophiles. At least one Christian institution has been attacked: the cross outside of a Franciscan language school in the old city of Meknes has been knocked down and beaten into small pieces.


In this Sunni Muslim nation proselytism is illegal. Evangelical Christians defied this Moroccan law in an attempt to follow the Great Commission of Matthew 28. In their missionary activities, they deliberately chose to follow the law of God over the law of man, knowing full well what consequences would follow. Although Western governments, with their ideals of freedom of expression and freedom of conscience, might object to the expulsions, they were clearly merited under current Moroccan law.

Other expulsions were not so clear cut. An Egyptian priest was also expelled. He, like all Catholics in Morocco, refrained from proselytism in order to assure the continued existence of their mercy ministries to Morocco's poor. As his case has been surrounded with lies and secrecy, it is impossible the exact reason for his detainment and deportation, but a possible reason might be that his Arab Christian identity was perceived as threatening.

The closure of the orphanage was more disturbing still. The Village of Hope had existed in some form since 1957. Located in Ain Leuh, a Moroccan city well-known for prostitution, it was re-incorporated in 1999. Christian families from around the globe came to live, taking in unwanted children and providing them with a loving home and medical care. Volunteers were made to sign statements that they would not proselytize, and despite the orphanage's Christian nature the families sent the Moroccan children for the legally required Islamic education.

Despite a decade of open existence and community cooperation, the orphanage families were treated little differently from the secret evangelical missionaries during the recent crackdown...

Introduction - Chris Schaefer

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Hi. I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Chris Schaefer, and I am interested in just about everything.

Currently, though, I teach English and study Arabic in Morocco. For my first post, I wrote something a little longer than usual based on some current events I have been thinking about recently. I hope it provides a useful contribution to this blog.

The Golden Years of the "White Man" are Behind Us

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Map of USA highlighting US states and district...

US states and districts in which non-Hispanic whites are a minority. Image via Wikipedia

As of 2009 my home state of Texas is a minority-majority state. Now the two largest states accounting for 19.76% of the U.S. population are no longer have white majorities. According to the U.S. census as of 2006 Houston has a minority population of 2.5 million. Then you add this news: Minority babies set to become majority in 2010. What does all of this mean? It means the United States is going "BROWN" as Anthony put it a couple of weeks ago. I predict that we will see a new American ethnic group. No longer will people go around saying oh my family is from England and Montenegro instead she will be American. One of my best friends, Nick, married an amazing woman from Trinidad who is of Indian descent. Their son Henrik is one of the new Americans. I am for one excited to see what this new America will look like.

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06poison.jpgWhat Would Government Do?

Hair bands? No, worse, if you can believe it.

During that stellar period of American history known as the Prohibition, your duly elected officials (and/or their appointed lackeys) decided that surreptitiously poisoning alcohol sounded like a great idea:

The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences.

In a completely unrelated note, many people will soon begin using unapproved doctors for unapproved procedures, as a result of unavoidably rising costs. But, hey, it'll only be the poor that suffer from those back-alley doctors, right? 'Cuz the rich can take a trip to one of the few medical tourism locations to have their procedures done by the top physicians who will leave the soon-to-be-USSA (alright, hyperbole, but only somewhat) to get the wages they deserve.

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Image via Wikipedia

On the Missouri-Synod's website on the section covering Social/Ethical Issues you will find the most progressive and helpful discussion on race of any confessional Protestant denomination in America.

Racism and the Church [1994]

The first untenable assumption that frustrates attempts to deal with racism in the church is what some have called the "good will assumption." This is the popular belief that "all Christians"(i.e., people of "good will") will automatically recognize that racism is morally wrong and that they will therefore spontaneously do the right thing. Thus, the church (so the thinking goes) need not concern itself with this issue...

Related to this is a second untenable assumption that the preaching of Law and Gospel merely in some abstract, detached sense--without careful and specific applications of the way the sin of
racism actually works in the lives of people--will root out the sin...

This is so true for people who people will simply care about this if we just "preach the gospel" so we don't need to preach about it directly. What a crazy idea.

Presbyterians have the absolutely worst reflections by engaging the distraction that is "racial reconciliation" instead of dealing with their own racism. Racial reconciliation amounts to racial assimilation where minorities adopt the cultural norms of the majority in order to be fully accepted. The most praised blacks in these circles are often ones whose churches are not culturally black.

Go, go Lutherans!! If you're black or Latino looking for a denomination that takes race seriously and is confessionally connected to the Reformation, pursue the Missouri-Synod Lutherans. Read this document and see for yourself. The PCA's work in this area lacks substantive documentary development by comparison.

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As I move around in the Washington Heights part of New York City I'm beginning to see more and more clearly the hatred that people from the Dominican Republic have toward black people. They have been some of the most racist people I've ever been around (I think--i.e., other racists are such but often don't confess it).

Domincans like saying the word "nigga." I hear all day from Dominicans. I heard this black guy talking last night about how he beat the snot out of this Domincan dude the night before because the Dominican guy kept saying "nigga" and loudly explaining why he's not black or a "nigga."

The great irony, of course, is that Dominicans are descended from slaves just like my people are.

Here's an article about how badly Dominicans want to distance themselves from black people. Too the "racial reconciliation" folks are stuck in 1972 and don't ever talk about stuff like this.

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googlefiber03272010.jpgGoogle's Gigabit Fiber Network.

For those of you who don't know, Google is looking to put ultra-super-mega high speed internet in some local municipality. I have no idea how Google is going to make money on this, but given their propensity to monetize everything, and effectively, it's a safe bet that they feel that this is a money-maker. So, there's something like an "open call" for exactly where that USMHS (not a technical term) internet is going to actually be. Cities, towns, and individuals all over the country (see the map for a graphic representation of the density of requests) are vying to be the Chosen One.

This is an example of rent-seeking. I can almost guarantee that, in whatever measure you use to determine whether this is a net-benefit or not, this is a nightmare waiting to happen. In short, the total dollar value of effort spent by municipalities will definitely overwhelm the benefit gained by being the Google-Chosen-One. To be more clear, for the winning municipality, the benefits will outweigh the costs, but on an overall basis, taking into account the time spent on crafting the proposals (including hiring what I assume are typical grant-writers in the 1,100 communities mentioned in the Engadget article for whatever amount of time they spent on preparing their proposals), as well as the time spent by the 194,000 individuals, as well as the opportunity cost of that time on the whole, this will be a net loser.

When there is slop in the trough, the pigs will fight to get at it.

Apple execs cash out lots of stock...what can we learn?

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gimme.jpgAs reported at MacRumors, Apple execs yesterday cashed out a lot of stock (1,000,000 shares).

To me, that says that people in the know (that is, people with the most incentive to know) have decided that paying taxes (at the present rate) sooner, rather than later (at the future tax rate), have decided that present > future.

So, what does that current > future (in terms of desirability, not quantity) rate mean to you?

Feel free to work "future entitlements as a result of healthcare spending" into your answer. "Increased statist sadism" will gain extra points. If you manage to make fun of the CBO's alleged "cost/benefit analysis," you get a free pass.

Using the term "greed," in any way, unless you can somehow delineate a way in which individuals are somehow more greedy than they previously had been, will earn an F--and earning an F on a blog is a very, very serious issue.

You Hold Me Now

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Someday, it will all be over and we will see clearly....until then, let this be our song.

The Modern Woman: A Man with a Vagina?

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In the 2010 Oscar-nominated film "Up in the Air," Vera Farmiga's character, Alex Goran (portentous masculine name), tells George Clooney's character as they are establishing their sexual relationship, "Just think of me as yourself...only with a vagina." This is precisely the same offer, even if unspoken, many "liberated" women are making men today.

In this gender-bending environment, is it any wonder that Clooney's character, who like all people is both victim and victimizer, makes the fatal mistake of rejecting the image of God for the image of a shark? Here is his philosophy:

Harlem-NY.jpg I went to Harlem today for a little refuge to get a haircut and was stunned by the gentrification. Here is an article describing how blacks are no longer the majority in Harlem. All that history will soon not even be the community's consciousness. The Apollo may soon be headlining hipster, Indie bands. The article is here.

For nearly a century, Harlem has been synonymous with black urban America. Given its magnetic and growing appeal to younger black professionals and its historic residential enclaves and cultural institutions, the neighborhood's reputation as the capital of black America seems unlikely to change soon.

But the neighborhood is in the midst of a profound and accelerating shift. In greater Harlem, which runs river to river, and from East 96th Street and West 106th Street to West 155th Street, blacks are no longer a majority of the population -- a shift that actually occurred a decade ago, but was largely overlooked.

By 2008, their share had declined to 4 in 10 residents. Since 2000, central Harlem's population has grown more than in any other decade since the 1940s, to 126,000 from 109,000, but its black population -- about 77,000 in central Harlem and about twice that in greater Harlem -- is smaller than at any time since the 1920s.

In 2008, 22 percent of the white households in Harlem had moved to their present homes within the previous year. By comparison, only 7 percent of the black households had.

Wow, what an interesting trend to watch. In South it was white flight when I was growing up but this resurgence is a new trend for me....

Today I write at World Magazine how wrong neo-agrarians, like Wendell Berry, are in there distortion of what constitutes man's engagement with nature and the land because cities are a product of the earth.

Read it here.

In The Culture of Cities, published in 1938, Lewis Mumford articulated a vision for the beauty of cities that many people have failed to appreciate. In contradistinction from the neo-agrarian romanticism of Wendell Berry and others, Mumford affirmed that "cities are a product of the earth." There is nothing in city life that keeps one from experiencing nature.


Wendell Berry, for example, seemed to believe that being connected to nature assumes agricultural manifestations. Berry said, "Our model citizen is a sophisticate who before puberty understands how to produce a baby, but who at the age of thirty will not know how to produce a potato." What's wrong with being a sophisticate who knows the good of what it means to be fruitful and multiply and incapable of working the land?


Go here to watch the trailer for Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America.

Fellas, "Man Up"

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Here's great documentary on fatherlessness called "Man Up"

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If all Americans are going to foot the bill for everyone else's health care costs shouldn't we have rules regarding people's eating habits. Below are a few health risks of being overweight.

To control health care costs being overweight should be illegal? Right? Why take care of yourself if you don't have to bear the costs of your habits. We need to push of criminalizing things that drive up health-care costs. Right?

Is right that well have to pay for other people's:

Heart Disease

This condition occurs when a fatty material called plaque (plak) builds up on the inside walls of the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to your heart). Plaque narrows the coronary arteries, which reduces blood flow to your heart. Your chances for having heart disease and a heart attack get higher as your body mass index (BMI) increases. Obesity also can lead to congestive heart failure, a serious condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

This condition occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries is too high. Your chances for having high blood pressure are greater if you're overweight or obese.
Stroke

Being overweight or obese can lead to a buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries that form a blood clot. If the clot is close to your brain, it can block the flow of blood and oxygen and cause a stroke. The risk of having a stroke rises as BMI increases.

Type 2 Diabetes

This is a disease in which blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. Normally, the body makes insulin to move the blood sugar into cells where it's used. In type 2 diabetes, the cells don't respond enough to the insulin that's made. Diabetes is a leading cause of early death, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. More than 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
Abnormal Blood Fats

If you're overweight or obese, you have a greater chance of having abnormal levels of blood fats. These include high amounts of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a fat-like substance often called "bad" cholesterol), and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (often called "good" cholesterol). Abnormal levels of these blood fats are a risk for heart disease.
Metabolic Syndrome

This is the name for a group of risk factors linked to overweight and obesity that raise your chance for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and stroke. A person can develop any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. Metabolic syndrome occurs when a person has at least three of these heart disease risk factors:

* A large waistline. This is also called abdominal obesity or "having an apple shape." Having extra fat in the waist area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than having extra fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
* Abnormal blood fat levels, including high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol.
* Higher than normal blood pressure.
* Higher than normal fasting blood sugar levels.


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From Lewis Mumford, The Culture of Cities, 1938:

Cities are a product of the earth. They relfect the peasant's cunning on dominating the earth; technically they but carry his skill in turning the soil to productive uses, in enfolding his cattle for safety, in regulating the waters that moinsten his fields, in providing storage bins and barns for his crops. Cities are emblems of the settled life which began with permanent agriculture: a life conducted with the aid of permanent shelters, permanent utilities like orchards, vineyards, and irrigation routes, and permanent buildings for protection and storage....

Within the city the essence of each type of soil and labor and economic goal is concentrated: thus arise greater possibilities for interchange and for new combinations not given in isolation of their original habitiats

Would someone please send a memo to Wendell Berry to help him with his neo-agrarian (slightly idolatrous) position. Cities are nature and community.

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I read lots of papers...

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bigstockphoto_Stack_Of_Papers_1196666.jpg...and I try to be selective about which ones I suggest others read.

Given that I've mentioned this paper in comments several times (not necessarily here, but elsewhere), I thought it worth putting a link up. Klein is one of my professors this semester, and I had him last semester as well. I really like several of his papers; I'll include links to some of the other ones I like below the main one I'm recommending.



The Demand for and Supply of Assurance

Consumers want products and services that are safe and of good quality. Corresponding to such demand is the demand for assurance, before the fact, that the quality and safety will be as promised. This demand for assurance creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to profit by providing assurance - and they do so in a wide and largely unappreciated variety of ways. When it comes to assurance, the essential dialectic of the free enterprise system applies pretty well. I think governments' quality and safety restrictions on the freedom of contract, known to be so harmful, are unredeemed and should be repealed.

Demand for and Supply of Assurance paper available here.

Other papers:
The People's Romance: Why People Love Government (as Much as They Do)
If Government Is So Villainous, How Come Government Offiicials Don't Seem Like Villains?
Resorting to Statism to Find Meaning: Conservatism and Leftism

More here, but those are some of my favorites.

Bradley Brings Deep Insight into Black Liberation Theology,
Social Justice Issues, and Education

NEW YORK, March 19, 2010--Dr. Anthony B. Bradley has been named Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at The King's College.

Dr. Bradley has been a visiting professor at King's during the 2009-2010 academic year. Prior to joining The King's College, he was assistant professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary, where he joined the faculty in fall 2005.

Dr. Marvin Olasky, provost at The King's College, said, "During Dr. Bradley's time here as a visiting professor, he not only demonstrated the intellectual vigor that's clear in his writing but also proved to be an engaging and inspiring teacher. We're delighted that Dr. Bradley will now be a permanent part of the King's faculty."

Dr. Bradley serves as a research fellow for the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids, Mich. His doctoral work focused on the intersection of black liberation theology with economics. His interests include the Scottish Reformation, the emerging church, welfare, education, and modern international forms of social injustice, slavery, and oppression. Bradley brings a wide range of ministry experience to his teaching, including leadership in youth ministry and Christian high school education and administration.

His first book, Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America, was released by Crossway in March. His writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including: the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, and World Magazine,where he is a weekly contributor to the magazine's web-site. He also regularly shares his insights on radio and television, having done scores of interviews on Fox News, National Public Radio, CNN, and many other local and national media outlets.

Dr. Bradley holds a bachelor of science from Clemson University, Master of Divinity from Covenant Seminary, and Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary.

The King's College is a Christian college located in the Empire State Building in New York City.

# # #


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 15, 2010
For More Information: Warren Smith 704-661-9137 (cell)


Guatemalan ex-president Alfonso Portillo will be extradited to the US after he goes through a local trial and serves his local sentence. The request for extradition came from New York's D.A. under the charge of money laundering (US$70 million). Guatemalan courts deliberated for nearly 12 hours yesterday in the midst of death threats to the judge panel's families and also strong accusations from ex president Portillo to the US Embassy. He argues that his extradition and persecution is political, due to the fact, among others, that he refused to sign a law that would render US armed forces acting in Guatemala above the law.
This will be a very long process and surely, one to follow.

Hate Wal-Mart? Get in line--the clueless line.

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evilempire2.jpgSince we're talking about hipsters, here's a post on something hipsters (or other "socially conscious" folks) love to hate: The evil mega-corporation Wal-Mart, which somehow underpays their employees, manages to evilly drive other companies out of business, and underpays their suppliers. And, yes, I did pull this out of the comments. Oh well--sometimes I like my comments.

Explain this: whenever Wal-Mart opens up a store or a factory, they have applicants that FAR outweigh their positions. Seems to me like the people are taking advantage of the (relatively) high wages that Wal-Mart offers. Maybe everyone lining up is just masochistic. Maybe they need the nice westerners to tell them what they really should be wanting, eh?

In some examples, the next-best option to working at a Wal-Mart or Wal-Mart producer is picking through garbage at the dump. Oh, but at least a mean, evil western company isn't "exploiting" those dump workers! At least they're making an honest living. Right?

Wal-Mart works so well (hey, it wouldn't be an "evil empire" if it didn't work well, right?) because they have a business model for their stores and producers that enables them to use very low-skilled workers--workers that would not be able to find a factory job elsewhere--and then, having obtained modern factory experience, those workers often leave Wal-Mart to work at more lucrative positions elsewhere, having gained a great amount of human capital because someone "underpaid" them (according to the arrogant west-centric assumption that something other than a dollar a day is the 'right' wage for them).

For a primer on this issue, check the Econtalk on fair and free trade coffee w/ Munger here, and for more information on rent-seeking (what Munger refers to in the podcast as "job gentrification," check (another Munger) Econtalk here. Rent-seeking is the reason that you can't give money (or higher-than-market-wage-jobs) away for free w/o it being a net-loser for all involved.

This really is basic, elementary economics. If one is going to have an opinion on economic issues, it really behooves one to read some basic economics. And, Sowell's Basic Economics is a great place to start.

Here's a puzzler (answered in the aforementioned podcasts): the best way to help the poorest is not to try to offer high wages for low-skill jobs. Now, why is that?

As Robert Samuelson put it in a recent column,

One job of presidents is to educate Americans about crucial national problems. On health care, Barack Obama has failed. Almost everything you think you know about health care is probably wrong or, at least, half wrong. Great simplicities and distortions have been peddled in the name of achieving "universal health coverage." The miseducation has worsened as the debate approaches its climax.
That same sort of miseducation, simplicity-rifeness, and distortions exist in almost every economic issue that is decided by majority rule (see Chicago's banning of Wal-Mart w/in large portions of the city), and they are just plain wrong, if not outright malicious.

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According to Brett McCracken's blog here are characteristic of the new "cool" missional, formerly suburban Christians now moving to the city to "do mission." To live "incarnationally," etc.

Christian hipsters like music, movies, and books that are well-respected by their respective artistic communities--Christian or not. They love books like Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider, God's Politics by Jim Wallis, and The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. They tend to be fans of any number of the following authors: Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, John Howard Yoder, Walter Brueggemann, N.T. Wright, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson, Anne Lamott, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Henri Nouwen, Soren Kierkegaard, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Annie Dillard, Marilynne Robison, Chuck Klosterman, David Sedaris, or anything ancient and/or philosophically important.
Christian hipsters love thinking and acting Catholic, even if they are thoroughly Protestant. They love the Pope, liturgy, incense, lectio divina, Lent, and timeless phrases like "Thanks be to God" or "Peace of Christ be with you." They enjoy Eastern Orthodox churches and mysterious iconography, and they love the elaborate cathedrals of Europe (even if they are too museum-like for hipster tastes).

Here's one of my new questions: can these new, cool formerly suburban, now "missional" Christian hipsters actually reach people in "the city." Or are these Churches simply reaching Christian hipsters in the city?

Can hipsters reach hip hop culture?

BTW: Brett McCracken is the author of Hipster Christianity (Aug 2010).

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Let them first consider how easily [the use of artificial contraception] of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings--and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation--need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law.

Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

--Humanae Vitae - Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Paul VI on the regulation of birth, 25 July 1968.

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Insider twentysomething Christian journalist Brett McCracken has grown up in the evangelical Christian subculture and observed the recent shift away from the "stained glass and steeples" old guard of traditional Christianity to a more unorthodox, stylized 21st-century church. This change raises a big issue for the church in our postmodern world: the question of cool. The question is whether or not Christianity can be, should be, or is, in fact, cool. This probing book is about an emerging category of Christians McCracken calls "Christian hipsters"--the unlikely fusion of the American obsessions with worldly "cool" and otherworldly religion--an analysis of what they're about, why they exist, and what it all means for Christianity and the church's relevancy and hipness in today's youth-oriented culture.

Dudes, this is going to be "da bomb." Cool and hipster Christians are increasingly become the new losers (sellouts). It's too bad that "missional" and "hipster" have become cultural synonyms. This book is out August 10, 2010 (Baker Books)

Are You A Chump?

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Andrew said:

A man who works hard, is a good provider, and will defend the woman he loves at all costs is considered a chump by these types.

Not necessarily. The dark side of "game theory" is attested to by the players themselves, that running game soon becomes a vacuous, numbing, malforming experience. The man you describe can either be a chump or not.

The real question is: Are you a chump? If you are not aware of how feminism has eroded our social structures and made the hope of marriage, kids, provision into a seemingly poor gamble, then you probably also don't know how this systemic change has helped you act like a chump.

For instance, the phrase: "I gotta check with The Boss" should never be said by a husband when referring to his wife.

Godly masculinity is a big topic. It is part of the creation, fall, redemption, restoration biblical plotline and rooted in the Imago Dei. It is passed on by other men, ideally from father to son, but not always. More to come, hopefully...

****

We need Anthony to post on what he learned from Marcus Lutrell's Lone Survivor.

(full statement here)

Ok....I don't want to just go ahead and bash him or his wife, or judge harshly. God knows we are all as vulnerable as the next guy to fall. However, what really makes me uncomfortable is his claim to living a practically perfect life:

"I also want you, my very dear partner, to know that there was absolutely no immorality involved in my life or in Suzanne's, ever," Hinn tells his partners in the statement. "We both kept our lives clean and were totally committed to each other for 30 years of marriage."

and also, what gets to me is the fact that he's not even planning or thinking of taking time to work things out, seek forgiveness, restoration and reconciliation, but rather, he'll stop at nothing to "fulfill his calling".....

"I want you, as my partner in this ministry, to know that I am going to continue preaching the Gospel and praying for the sick as I have for 36 years. I will not allow anything to slow me down or stop me," he said.

This is so sad....thoughts?

(Hey, if you're big on twitter, which I certainly am not, you already knew about this. Good on ya'.)

Here's an old and a new article about how foolish people can be about the possibilities of the future, in spite of how technologically inclined (how much of an expert) they are:

A rediscovered Newsweek article, from 1995 (and from a very tech-savvy individual), about how the internet was pretty much a bunch of malarkey, and would never catch on (note the comparison to CB radios, one I personally heard in high school from a teacher). Talk about the seen and the unseen; sheesh. The original article is good for a laugh, but the slate article is great for general insights on change and the dynamics of people, especially to truck, barter, and exchange (though they do attribute intentionality to wikipedia in the 'hive mind' aspect, when from econtalk I know that that emerged after the fact).

original 1995 article here.
recent comment here, from slate, after someone stumbled on the original 1995 article and it blew up on twitter: Slate

original article--

"Then there's cyberbusiness. We're promised instant catalog shopping-just point and click for great deals. We'll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet-which there isn't-the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople."
Russ Roberts has previously commented (somewhere on EconTalk) on how great Amazon's book recommendations are, and how vast "Amazon's" knowledge is, compared to that local bookseller.


Maybe best of all? Slate affirms my optimism: These days it's best to err on the side of optimism.

She's my all time favorite Christian singer/songwriter....watch out for her new album.


200 Chicago Ministers Back South Side Wal-Mart

More info here. I have yet to hear any opposition to wal-mart that is based on anything but economic ignorance (or, possibly, ill-will toward the poor disguised as concern for them).

I'm willing to bet that there aren't any Presbyterians among those 200, however.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2010 is the previous archive.

April 2010 is the next archive.

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ANTHONY BRADLEY, PH.D.
Executive Editor
@drantbradley

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JASPER ABBOTT, J.D.
Senior Contributor
@jasperabbott

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SHAWN REED, M.A.
Contributor

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ABRAHAM SANGHA
Contributor

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CHRIS SCHAEFER
Contributor
@ChrisSchaef