Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's a Music Theme

Here’s a fun game to play (with thanks to Marla Swoffer for pointing me to this).

  1. Go to

  2. Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year.

  3. Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don't remember (or don't care about). (since Blogger won't allow me to strikethrough I put the ones I hated in italics)
Class of 1984
This was a pretty horrible year for music as was most of the ‘80s. But there were a few songs that are still worth listening to. My music changed drastically (for the better, I might add) once I got into college and started my brief stint in radio as a DJ. I started listening to Christian music about the same time but didn’t make the shift to listening to mostly Christian music until just recently.

1. When Doves Cry, Prince
2. What's Love Got To Do With It, Tina Turner
3. Say Say Say, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
4. Footloose, Kenny Loggins
5. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now), Phil Collins
6. Jump, Van Halen
7. Hello, Lionel Richie
8. Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Yes
9. Ghostbusters, Ray Parker Jr.
10. Karma Chameleon, Culture Club
11. Missing You, John Waite
12. All Night Long (All Night), Lionel Richie
13. Let's Hear It For The Boy, Deniece Williams
14. Dancing In The Dark, Bruce Springsteen
15. Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper
16. The Reflex, Duran Duran
17. Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
18. Jump (For My Love), Pointer Sisters
19. Talking In Your Sleep, Romantics
20. Self Control, Laura Branigan
21. Let's Go Crazy, Prince and The Revolution
22. Say It Isn't So, Daryl Hall and John Oates
23. Hold Me Now, Thompson Twins
24. Joanna, Kool and The Gang
25. I Just Called To Say I Love You, Stevie Wonder
26. Somebody's Watching Me, Rockwell
27. Break My Stride, Matthew Wilder
28. 99 Luftballons, Nena
29. I Can Dream About You, Dan Hartman
30. The Glamorous Life, Sheila E.
31. Oh Sherrie, Steve Perry
32. Stuck On You, Lionel Richie
33. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Elton John
34. She Bop, Cyndi Lauper
35. Borderline, Madonna
36. Sunglasses At Night, Corey Hart
37. Eyes Without A Face, Billy Idol
38. Here Comes The Rain Again, Eurythmics
39. Uptown Girl, Billy Joel
40. Sister Christian, Night Ranger
41. Drive, Cars
42. Twist Of Fate, Olivia Newton-John
43. Union Of The Snake, Duran Duran
44. The Heart Of Rock 'N' Roll, Huey Lewis and The News
45. Hard Habit To Break, Chicago
46. The Warrior, Scandal
47. If Ever You're In My Arms Again, Peabo Bryson
48. Automatic, Pointer Sisters
49. Let The Music Play, Shannon
50. To All The Girls I've Loved Before, Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson
51. Caribbean Queen, Billy Ocean
52. That's All, Genesis
53. Running With The Night, Lionel Richie
54. Sad Songs (Say So Much), Elton John
55. I Want A New Drug, Huey Lewis and The News
56. Islands In The Stream, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
57. Love Is A Battlefield, Pat Benatar
58. Infatuation, Rod Stewart
59. Almost Paradise, Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
60. Legs, ZZ Top
61. State Of Shock, Jacksons
62. Love Somebody, Rick Springfield
63. Miss Me Blind, Culture Club
64. If This Is It, Huey Lewis and The News
65. You Might Think, Cars
66. Lucky Star, Madonna
67. Cover Me, Bruce Springsteen
68. Cum On Feel The Noize, Quiet Riot
69. Breakdance, Irene Cara
70. Adult Education, Daryl Hall and John Oates
71. They Don't Know, Tracy Ullman
72. An Innocent Man, Billy Joel
73. Cruel Summer, Bananarama
74. Dance Hall Days, Wang Chung
75. Give It Up, K.C.
76. I'm So Excited, Pointer Sisters
77. I Still Can't Get Over Loving You, Ray Parker Jr.
78. Thriller, Michael Jackson
79. Holiday, Madonna
80. Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us, Ollie And Jerry
81. Nobody Told Me, John Lennon
82. Church Of The Poison Mind, Culture Club
83. Think Of Laura, Christopher Cross
84. Time Will Reveal, Debarge
85. Wrapped Around Your Finger, Police
86. Pink Houses, John Cougar Mellencamp
87. Round And Round, Ratt
88. Head Over Heels, Go-Go's
89. The Longest Time, Billy Joel
90. Tonight, Kool and The Gang
91. Got A Hold On Me, Christine McVie
92. Dancing In The Sheets, Shalamar
93. Undercover Of The Night, Rolling Stones
94. On The Dark Side, John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band
95. New Moon On Monday, Duran Duran
96. Major Tom (Coming Home), Peter Schilling
97. Magic, Cars
98. When You Close Your Eyes, Night Ranger
99. Rock Me Tonite, Billy Squier
100. Yah Mo B There, James Ingram and Michael McDonald

Now, if you want to get an idea of what I listen to (when I'm not listening to Christian music), you can click here for my favorite Internet radio station.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

About Me

Heather from Spirittibee has tagged me on a biographical meme. So, here are a few things about me:

Things I want to do before I die:

  1. Play one round of golf at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland where the most maddening sport known to man was created.
  2. Play a round of golf at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, probably the best public course in the U. S.
  3. Take in a baseball game at Fenway Park before someone is stupid enough to tear it down. Same goes for Yankee Stadium.
  4. Visit Hawaii with my wife.
  5. Visit every other major-league baseball park I haven't been to yet.

Things I can do:

  1. Hug my wife and kids....often.
  2. Read to my children.
  3. Teach my children to love music.
  4. Teach my children how to use money wisely.
  5. Pray for my wife and my daughters.

Things I cannot do:

  1. Dance
  2. Draw
  3. Hit a curveball (or any other pitch for that matter)
  4. Speak another language
  5. Imagine a father who wouldn't give up everything else to be with his family

Things that attract me to my wife:

  1. She's drop dead gorgeous (at least I think so)
  2. She always knows just what to say when I'm feeling low
  3. She gives me the freedom to be able to tell her anything and still loves me
  4. She's the greatest cook in the world
  5. Her constant faith in me (even though she knows all my faults)

Celebrity crushes I've had in the past:

The only one I can remember was Farrah Fawcett (I was 12 years old) when Charlie's Angels was a regular fixture on TV. Of course, the other cast members were great, too. Let's just say that my tastes improved greatly as I got older (and wiser).

People I want to do this next:

  1. Sistersophist
  2. Purple Puzzle Place
  3. Keer "Unplugged"
  4. The Anchoress
  5. Byrd Droppings

UPDATE #1: Sistersophist responds. Although she's my sister-in-law, she's more like the sister I never had.

UPDATE #2: Keer "Unplugged" adds her response.

UPDATE #3: Here is the response from Purple Puzzle Place.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Prayer Request

Please pray for my Stones Cry Out colleague Rick Brady who is leaving for Washington, DC for FEMA training on Sunday followed by a minimum 3 month assignment in one of the areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina. This will be a difficult time for him as well as his wife and children.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Love For Reading

Our family loves to read. That really shouldn't come as any great surprise given my hobby of reviewing books for Mind and Media. But we all love to read and have for quite some time. My wife got her degree in English and so she had to do a fair amount of reading. Actually, she had enough credit hours to have received two degrees in English she was so steeped in books in college. Though I had my fair share of books to read for my literature classes in college (and hated many of them) I still enjoy reading a great deal.

My wife and I both made a committment when our children were born to instill in our children a love for reading. We've been able to do this mostly because we both read to them. It's a precious time that we have as a family that they both truly enjoy and covet.

We started reading to them when they were just babies. Most of the time, I would read to them. As a father, I can't think of anything else that is more precious than to read to your children. My girls are constantly begging me to read more to them. I think they would rather do that than anything else.

Because we homeschool, we also have an opportunity to incorporate reading into our school activities. Usually my wife is reading a book with them during school time and I read a different book with them in the evenings.

Where do you begin? How do you find out what books are good books to read? It's difficult in this day and age to often find books that appropriate for kids even when they've theoretically been written for kids. A good resource we've discovered is Honey For A Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. While we don't necessarily agree with all her recommendations, she does a good job of highlighting the best children's books available by age group and genre and provides a brief synopsis of each book that will help you decide whether it's a book your family would be interested in.

If you're ready to start reading aloud to your kids but don't know what to start with, let me recommend The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. These timeless tales are ideal for reading aloud to your children. Your children are also likely to want to start reading the books on their own after you have finished reading them aloud (which my oldest daughter has decided to do on her own).

I've added to the sidebar "What We're Reading" that will let you know what I'm currently reading to my kids. My wife and I will also be compiling a list of books in the next few days that we've read aloud to our childrenthat we can recommend for family reading time.

Fathers, let me encourage you to put down your newspaper, turn off the television, put aside all the other things that distract you from time with your children and take the time to read aloud to them. A good book read by a father to his children is a truly precious gift and one that you will be glad you shared with your children. You will not only instill in them a love for reading good books but more importantly given them one of the most precious things that you have: your time and your attention.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Book Review: Natural Law

Natural Law by Alberto M. Piedra is the fifth book in the Studies in Ethics and Economics series sponsored by Acton Institute and published by Lexington Books. The purpose of the series is stated as follows in the book:

Economics as a discipline cannot be detached from a historical background that was, it is increasingly recognized, religious in nature. Adam Ferguson and Adam Smith drew on the work of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish theologians, who strove to understand the process of exchange and trade in order to better address the moral dilemmas they saw arising from the spread of commerce in the New World. After a long period in which economics became detached from theology and ethics, many economists and theologians now see the benefit of studying economic realities in their full cultural, often religious, context. This new series provides an international forum for exploring the difficult theological and economic questions that arise in the pursuit of this objective.

In this slim volume, Mr. Piedra tackles the thorny topic of economic systems as they relate to moral standards and absolutes. In the introduction to the book he clearly states his purpose:

Can capilatlism or any other economic or political system be totally separated from the realm of an ethics based on Natural Law? In other workds, can it be said that economics and ethics are so independent from each other that the moral law does not apply within the area of economic activity? Even under the most favorable conditions, can the most efficient political and economic systems devised by the human mind survive if they lack the right moral foundations and a proper understanding of man as a human person? Is it not realistic to believe that any economic or political system void of the notion of the transcendental, no matter how "efficient" it may be, can lead to flagrant abuses of man's dignity by the misuse of science and technology? (page 5)

Mr. Piedra examines in the subsequent chapters many economic systems including a critical review of capitalism and its shortcomings. He comes to the conclusion that without a strong moral foundation that any economic system is going to collapse:

Lacking a strong moral foundation based on Natural Law, freedom gradually turns into license and with it the most reprehensible excesses tend to follow. Sooner or later, chaos cries for order. Society cannot exist without it. From there, only a short step will lead to totalitarianism and the eventual loss of both economic and political freedoms. (page 183)

Natural Law is a very scholarly study of the ethics behind economics and reinforces the view that a moral absolute is necessary in order for an orderly society or economic system to be maintained.

This book was provided to me by Acton Institute through my association with Mind and Media. No other consideration apart from the book was received in exchange for this review.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Total Truth Happenings

As readers of this site know, one of the most challenging and informative books I have read recently is Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey. A new edition of the book has just been published with an accompanying Study Guide. This will no doubt help the reader apply the truths that she examines throughout the book. It's also exciting to see that they have included a number of the endorsements from Mind and Media reviewers both in the new edition of the book and on the website. I was blown away to see my own blurb about the book appear both on the website and on page 3 of the book (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Ms. Pearcey has also just started a series of articles for Home School Enrichment Magazine on developing a Christian worldview. Ms. Pearcey was kind enough to quote me in her article in the September/October issue and had sent it to me prior to publication. Her article explains how we can equip our children with the tools necessary to develop a Christian worldview through homeschooling. If you get a chance, pick up the magazine and take a look at her article.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Speech We Should Have Heard

Normally Scott Ott at Scrappleface offers biting satire of current news events. Today he posted a speech I wish I had heard President Bush give last night as it is exactly what people need to hear. A brief sample:

"But as reconstruction begins, rest assured that we're not merely going to re-establish the conditions that led to such deep pockets of poverty in the midst of affluence. We're not going to continue the enslavement of the poor at the hands of seemingly-benevolent politicians who fail to understand the power of faith, freedom and personal responsibility to build vibrant communities on a foundation of strong families."

"In the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it's time to "let freedom ring." It's time to let this area of the south rise up and live out the true meaning of our creed."

"When Dr. King gave his most famous speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial he said the founders of this nation signed "a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the 'unalienable Rights' of 'Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness'."

"Dr. King said the civil rights movement was an effort to 'cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice'."

"But today, Dr. King's dream remains unfulfilled for many in the richest land the world has ever seen, because government has substituted one bad check for another. We have replaced the promissory note of freedom and justice, with the public assistance check. The problem is that this new check actually does provide something...a little money. But that government money is counterfeit. It's a cheap replica of a paycheck. It fills the belly, but empties the soul. It buys things, but only in exchange for life, liberty and happiness."

Read the whole thing.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Real Story Behind Curious George

Curious George is without a doubt one of my favorite children's books. The mischevious monkey has been a favorite of many children for years. Now a new book reveals how this story almost didn't get published. From The New York Times (free registration required):

Curious George is every 2-year-old sticking his finger into the light socket, pouring milk onto the floor to watch it pool, creating chaos everywhere. One reason the mischievous monkey is such a popular children's book character is that he makes 4- to 6-year-olds feel superior: fond memories, but we've given all that up now.

In the years since the first book was published in the United States in 1941, "George" has become an industry. The books have sold more than 27 million copies. There have been several "Curious George" films, including an animated one featuring the voice of Will Ferrell that is scheduled for release this February, and theater productions, not to mention the ubiquitous toy figure. Next year, PBS will begin a Curious George series for pre-schoolers.

But in truth, "Curious George" almost didn't make it onto the page. A new book, "The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey" (Houghton Mifflin), tells of how George's creators, both German-born Jews, fled from Paris by bicycle in June 1940, carrying the manuscript of what would become "Curious George" as Nazis prepared to invade.

Hat tip: Mark Daniels

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Judge Roberts and the Importance of Precedent

In the opening round of questioning at his confirmation hearing yesterday, Judge John Roberts was asked some specific questions about Roe vs. Wade by Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA). Here is how the Washington Post characterized the exchange:

Specter, who supports abortion rights, and several Democrats challenged Roberts especially hard on his views of Roe , the 1973 decision establishing that women have a constitutional right to privacy that includes the right to an abortion. Because Roe has stood for 32 years, much of the discussion centered on when and why a settled ruling should be overturned.

Roberts told Specter that he respected the doctrine of stare decisis -- letting decided issues stand -- adding, "I do think it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent." But some long-standing cases deserve to be overturned, he said, such as those that legalized slavery in the 19th century and racial segregation in the 20th century.

Roberts set forth criteria that he said judges and justices should use to determine whether to "revisit" a precedent, saying they include "settled expectations," the court's legitimacy and whether a precedent is workable or has been "eroded by subsequent developments."

"It is not enough that you may think the prior decision was wrongly decided," said Roberts, who during the 1980s signed a memo saying that Roe was "wrongly decided" and should be overturned.

When Specter asked whether the decision's legal legs have been eroded, Roberts replied: "I feel the need to stay away from a discussion of particular cases."

Although Judge Roberts revealed very little in his testimony about his opinion of Roe vs. Wade (he stayed away from specifics on that case as well as many others since the issues would likely come before the Supreme Court) he has at least revealed a very important asepct of his judicial philosophy: respect for precedents.

Although many pro-life advocates (including myself) would like to see Roe vs. Wade overturned, it's not that simple. Deference to prior court decisions is a bedrock prinicple of the law. If cases can be reversed on a whim then prior court decisions have no relevance.

Conservatives should be very encouraged by yesterday's hearings. Although Judge Roberts didn't stake out a specific position on Roe he left no doubt that he intends to be a modest judge employing a conservative judicial philosophy and holds high regard for the rule of law. That's exactly the sort of Supreme Court Justice we need.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Roberts Hearing: Day One

I didn't tune into John Roberts' confirmation hearing yesterday because, frankly, I didn't expect to hear much that was newsworthy. I expected to hear a lot of senators drawing attention to themselves through their opening statements. At the end of the day, however, Judge Roberts did have a chance to make an opening statement and gave us a glimpse into his judicial philosophy (hat tip: Carol Platt Liebau):

Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them.

The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules.

But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.

Judges have to have the humility to recognize that they operate within a system of precedent, shaped by other judges equally striving to live up to the judicial oath.

And judges have to have the modesty to be open in the decisional process to the considered views of their colleagues on the bench.

Although he will likely be peppered with questions today about specific cases and issues, I expect Judge Roberts to politely decline to answer many of those questions as it would not be appropriate for him to address any issue that could potentially come before the Court. That's the way it should be.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Was Katrina God's Judgement?

It's a question I have been mulling over for the last several days. Was Hurricane Katirna God's way of judging a thoroughly decadent New Orleans? A friend of mine had posed this question to me shortly after the hurricane had made landfall. Since I had visited New Orleans last fall on a business trip and had observed some of the city's infamous culture firsthand the question seemed to be a sensible one. But the more I reflect on the issue I have to wonder whether it was or not. This post by Michael Russell at Theologica (a new World Magazine blog) leads me to believe that it wasn't based on the pattern of God's judgements revealed in the Bible. What do you think?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Becoming a Blogger of Influence

Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost has once again provided great advice and perspective for bloggers everywhere:

Imagine that you've been provided the opportunity to hold a daily public conference. Six days a week between a dozen and a few hundred people gather together for the sole purpose of hearing what you think. Some of them find you insightful, even brilliant while others think you’re a blithering idiot. Each day, though, they come to hear you give an opinion about current events, expound upon an obscure topic of personal interest, or hear you share an amusing anecdote. A few stay thru your entire oration while others leave after only a few words. But every day someone shows up for your briefing.

How would you handle the pressure? How much time and effort would you put into your remarks? How would you use such an incredible opportunity?

While this may sound rather far-fetched, the fact is that millions of people already have a similar opportunity. I’m one such person. I suspect you are too. We’re called bloggers.

Joe goes on to explain that the important thing for bloggers to focus on is not so much developing a huge audience in terms of numbers of hits but rather developing an audience that will come back to read your blog on a regular basis. That audience will be one that you will be able to engage with, converse with, argue with, and even develop a relationship with. You can't realistically develop relationships with a huge number of people. But by building a core audience whom with you will engage in conversation you are truly becoming a blogger of influence.

The trap that many bloggers fall into (myself included) is trying to reach as wide an audience as possible rather than deeping the relationship with the audience. As a result, we become focused on statistics rather than being concerned about the quality of our posts. But if we concentrate on providing better content for those who have been willing to entrust us with their most precious commodity - their time - we will find that we'll have a far greater impact than we could have ever imagined.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Magazine Review: Rare Jewel Magazine

Recently I had the privilege aof receiving Rare Jewel Magazine which is a relatively new magazine designed to address major issues of the day in light of a Christian worldview. Each issue of the magazine focuses on a particular issue in the culture and provides a number of articles to help equip Christians in dealing with that particular issue.

The most recent issue (July/August 2005) of the magazine dealt with the issue of Creation and the numerous issues surrounding Creation as it has been presented in the culture. Articles included a report on fighting the ban of Creation teaching, a consideration of the Intelligent Design movement, the collapse of Evolution, and much more.

In each issue you will get insights into the central inssue from a number of different perspectives. There will be articles by pastors, leaders on the front lines, legal and cultural perspectives, and even recommended reading for further study on the central theme of the issue of the magazine.

Christians who want to learn more about how to apply the truth of Scripture to cultural issues should consider subscribing to Rare Jewel Magazine. You will receive a valuable tool that will help equip you for the battles of the day and prepare you to give an answer for the hope that lies within you (1 Peter 3:14-15).

Rare Jewel Magazine is published six times per year and is available by subscription. Single back-issues may also be ordered at this site. A free biweekly e-mail newsletter is also available by sending a blank e-mail to

This subscription was provided to me by Rare Jewel Magazine through Mind and Media. No other compensation apart from the magazine was received in exchange for this review.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Who's To Blame?

Much of the discusssion surrounding who to blame for the failure of relief efforts particularly in New Orleans has focused on the federal government's role in the response to the disaster. To place the blame solely on the federal government would be a huge mistake as Bob Williams points out today in the Wall Street Journal:

Many in the media are turning their eyes toward the federal government, rather than considering the culpability of city and state officials. I am fully aware of the challenges of having a quick and responsive emergency response to a major disaster. And there is definitely a time for accountability; but what isn't fair is to dump on the federal officials and avoid those most responsible--local and state officials who failed to do their job as the first responders. The plain fact is, lives were needlessly lost in New Orleans due to the failure of Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco, and the city's mayor, Ray Nagin.

The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.

The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans were already in place to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.

Certainly, there is blame for the federal government as well. As this story shows, officials did not respond as quickly as they should. But the first line of response in a disaster is at the local and state level, not at the federal level. The federal government will have a much larger role in relief when it comes to the rebuilding of infrastructure and dealing with the financial fallout from the hurricane. But attention should be focused on local officials and their response to the needs of their constiuents which in the case of New Orleans included a large number that were unable to take care of themselves.

An equally troubling issue, however, has been those who have refused to follow the evacuation orders. Many able-bodied people who had their own way out of the city simply ignored the ordered evacuation. If more people had not only taken care of themselves but had also aided friends and neighbors then countless lives could have been saved.

As a nation, we have raised a generation of children that do not respect or obey authority. In addition, these same children are not being taught to accept personal responsibility. So it should not be surprising to anyone that we have thousands of people wandering around New Orleans waiting for someone to come help them because they don't know how to take care of themselves.

As a parent, I've troied to instill this respect for authority into my children. The principle of first-time obedience is paramount in our household. If my children are told to do something the expectation is that they will do it the first time they are instructed. The reason for this is that sometime their life may depend on their immediate obedience to our parental instruction.

In writing to the church in Rome, the apostle Paul gave them some instruction that they probably did not want to hear: submit to the government. No doubt this was difficult for them since the Roman Empire was not particularly charitable towards Christians of that day.

Paul's instruction is still relevant today. We've raised children who have no respect for authority at any level. The looting and rioting we have witnessed in New Orleans is the logical conclusion to raising a generation (or more) that has no respect for authority. Parents should take heed of this week's events as a reminder to instruct your children to learn respect for authority and to obey direction that they are given. When they are grown and on their own they will need to be able to make wise choices. Unless parents equip their children to make wise choices they can expect the same type of outcome as what we have witnessed this week.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Roberts Nomination

President Bush, who has taken a lot of heat for the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, again proved yesterday that he is a very shrewd politician by nominating Justince John Roberts to succeed the late William Rehnquist as Chief Justice.

By elevating Roberts to the Chief Justice seat, President Bush has changed the dynamics of the debate and has cleared the way for an easier confirmation.

Two silly arguments had been floated through the media during the debate over Roberts' nomination to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. First, there was the argument that since O'Connor was a moderate that President Bush should replace her with another moderate. Last time I checked President Bush was a conservative. He has the right to nominate anyone he wants. Why wouldn't a conservative president nominate a conservative justice?

The second arguement was that O'Connor's replacement needed to be a woman. The President's job is to nominate the best person for the job regardless of race, sex or any other demographic. Although there were a number of qualified women Bush could have nominated it's clear he picked the best judge available in Roberts. Bush may still nominate a woman to replace O'Conner. As Captain Ed points out, both Janice Rogers Brown and Edith Hollan Jones are considered leading candidates to fill the Court's remaining vacancy.

Although Democrats are inclined to reflexively oppose this President at every turn they would be better served to allow Roberts to be confirmed and save what little political capital they have for the next Supreme Court nominee. The Hill is already reporting that 25 Democratic Senators could vote to confirm Roberts. (Hat tip: Confirm Them)

It's safe to assume that Schumer, Kennedy, and other prominent Senate Democrats will use the confirmation hearings to try to make as much trouble for Roberts as they can. In the end, he should be confirmed easily. Then the real battle will begin.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blog Relief Day

All over the world bloggers are coming together to raise awareness and assist in raising funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina. As resuce workers continue to locate survivors and relocate refugees to safe shelters our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

A number of fine charities are working together to provide relief efforts to the victims. Samaritan's Purse is a wonderful organization that is providing aid and assistance to the hurricane victims. Click here if you would like to make a donation online.

Another worthwhile charity is the Salvation Army. Stones Cry Out is encouraging donations to this organization.

My fellow Blogcritics are encouraging donations to the American Red Cross which has a long history of assisting with disaster relief.

Spunky Homeschool is reminding homeschoolers that the Homeschool Foundation (part of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association) has a disaster relief fund set up.

Be sure to check with your employer to see if they are matching any contributions. Many corporations are providing matching donations to disaster relief charities.

Instapundit has links to all of the charities and bloggers who are supporting blog relief day.

Please pray for the victims and support one of the fine charities that are providing disaster relief.

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Magazine Review: The Old Schoolhouse

One of the great benefits of being a Mind and Media reviewer (and you can become one too) is not only the great free books but having the opportunity to review some great magazines as well. Recently, I received my first issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. This is a valuable resource than homeschoolers will definitely want to receive.

The magazine is published quarterly and is chock full of great articles and resources for homeschoolers everywhere. In the Summer 2005 issue (which was the review issue I received) there was a great article on how homeschooling is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. In addition, there were articles on dealing with special needs children, resources for reading diffculties, autism, and sign language; as well as a fascinating profile of a 10 year old art prodigy. Plus there are a number of other columns from homeschooling families across the country dealing with different topics of interest to home educators.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is like having a homeschool educator's conference delivered right to your door. If you are a homeschool family you will not want to pass up this valuable resource.

The magazine was provided to me by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine through an association with Mind and Media. They have supplied me with a one-year subscription to the magazine in exchange for my willingness to post my review of the magazine here and place their ad on my blog. No other consideration has been received for this review.