For The Pack Rats

If you’re a pack rat like me, you’ll appreciate Susan Konig’s article in National Review:

…what about the good chocolates, the fancy crackers, the special coffees that get saved? For me, if I have gourmet coffee, it is usually stored in the back of the cabinet or the fridge until, one morning, I run out of Chock Full O’ Nuts and have to grind the good blend just to save my marriage. Then I think, I can’t believe we’re having this delicious coffee on an average morning. And yet, what a treat.

And we should all use the darn guest soap.

I had little flower-shaped soaps and seashells and seasonal smelling things I saved and saved. Finally, I put them all out. We’ll get more, or maybe we won’t, but what are we saving them for? The kids will get them all smeary and dirty and leave them in a puddle of water melting away on the edge of the sink and that’s just the way it is.

While I don’t drink coffee, and I dare not ever use the guest soap (much less the guest towel), I do tend to put too many things aside and end up never using them.

I also tend to go through periods in my life where I collect so much junk that I go through a purge, and in one day I’ll throw out or otherwise dispense of a great deal of my belongings. The rest of the time I just store things away until the notion to purge hits me again. Good thing I have an 80 GB hard drive…

Book Sale

From now until the New Year, Spence Publishing is having a huge book sale. All hardbacks are only $10. I’m not a paid advertiser for Spence, but I have benefited from a number of their books like J. Budziszewski’s The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man; F. Carolyn Craglia’s Domestic Tranquility:A Brief Against Feminism; and Thomas Hibbs’ Shows About Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture from The Exorcist to Seinfeld. Their books are thoughtful and well-argued from a conservative standpoint. I think I’ll be spending some of my Christmas money…


It looks like the FBI has discovered that Almanacs are being used by terrorists. And all this time we thought they were using devices like explosives, box cutters, and nail clippers! The terrorists apparently have now discovered the power of reference books.

Seriously though, this does seem a bit ridiculous. Then again, terrorists do some strange things. Nevertheless, I’ll bet Ben Franklin is turning over in his grave…

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg agrees:

I mean once you know which city you’re gonna dive-bomb your plane into, how many more times do you need to recheck the almanac? “Hakim, bring the almanac! We may need to know which states in the Great Satan are the biggest producers of tungsten!”

Bi, Bi, Miss American Pie

It seems that bisexuality has become chic for teenage girls in South Florida [link via Marvin Olasky]. A South Florida Sun-Sentinel article states that many girls are kissing other girls or even claiming to be bisexual because it gives them attention from boys:

“It’s really just straight children acting out that natural pubescent rebellion, of stepping out of the boundaries the previous generation set up,” says Clarence Brooks, a teacher at Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach.

Sam Deblaker of Wilton Manors says she first experimented with girls because of the way guys reacted.

“I liked the attention,” the 17-year-old says, adding that though she has had a boyfriend for two years, she occasionally kisses girls in front of him. “He likes it. It’s fun.”

Sure enough, girls have always gone to great lengths to get the attention of the boy they liked (and vice versa), but this behavior signals a change unlike any other. The sexual confusion that is exhibited by today’s youth is indicative of a world that is far removed from biblical teaching. The saddest part of this article to me is the fact that those involved are more concerned with whether or not the girls are “really bisexual” rather than acknowledging the greater problem that is staring them blatantly in the face.

I graduated from high school just over ten years ago, and this was not something anyone would have considered fathomable. To be sure, there was plenty of ungodly decadence that went on among my fellow high schoolers, but the acceptance of a “bisexual chic” was unheard of. This emerging trend is a signal to Christians that the youth (as well as many of their parents) cannot relate to a biblical worldview. We as Christians must set the worldview of the Bible against the spirit of the age and show the world that identity is not ultimately found in one’s sexuality, but in one’s standing with Jesus Christ.

Forth Eorlingas!

I finally made it to see Return of the King over the weekend. It is an amazing film which makes one question paying the same price to see a lesser movie. The acting was superb, and the battle scenes were breathtaking.

All in all, I had only a few qualms. First, [SPOILER WARNING] I think that Jackson should have included the scourging of the Shire. The fact that even the Shire felt the effects of the war is an important point for Tolkien, but Jackson leaves it out, probably due to time constraints. Second, there were a few points where the emotionalism in the film got a little too sappy for me. For example, when Gandalf asks Aragorn whether or not he thinks Frodo is still alive, Aragorn replies, “What does your heart tell you?”

Aside from these small points of contention, this film raises the bar for all other movies in almost every category. Lucas’ Jar-Jar Binks has nothing on Gollum’s human-based CGI. In fact, if Andy Serkis (Gollum) doesn’t win an Academy Award®, the Academy that gave best picture to Shakespeare In Love over Saving Private Ryan will only prove itself irrelevant. Go see it.

9 out of 10

A Christmas Conversion?

While most Christians were celebrating the birth of Christ with their families yesterday, it seems that Howard Dean had a conversion of his own. Drudge links to this Boston Globe article entitled “Seeking a new emphasis, Dean touts his Christianity.”

It appears from the article that Dean has come out of the closet, so to speak, and declared his Christian beliefs:

The move is striking for a man who has steadfastly kept his personal life out of the campaign, rarely offering biographical information, much less his religious beliefs. But in the Globe interview, Dean said that Jesus was an important influence in his life and that he would probably share with some voters the model Jesus has served for him.

”Christ was someone who sought out people who were disenfranchised, people who were left behind,” Dean said. ”He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything . . . He was a person who set an extraordinary example that has lasted 2000 years, which is pretty inspiring when you think about it.”

He acknowledged that he was raised in the ”Northeast” tradition of not discussing religious beliefs in public, and said he held back in New Hampshire, where that is the practice. But in other areas, such as the South, he said, he would discuss his beliefs more openly.

Aha! So Dean will discuss his beliefs where it is conventient. I suppose this is his version of being “all things to all people.” It’s clear here that Dean is using a supposed faith in Christ only for political gain.

The article notes that Dean rarely goes to church (except when he’s preaching at one, of course), and even considered joining a Unitarian church as a compromise to his wife, who is of a different religion. Dean’s view of Jesus as merely an “example” to follow is typical of liberal theology, and it appears that Dean is positioning himself as a model of Jesus’ example.

Dean first wanted Southerners to ignore God in deciding their vote. Now it seems he’s found that it is stylish for a presidential candidate to be a faithful follower. Perhaps Dr. Dean should be reminded of the third commandment, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)