A lesson in reality for Hamas

Being a terrorist doesn’t automatically make one stupid, just evil. Hamas, though, appears to be trying to prove that it does affect intelligence. Why else would the Gaza Palestinians continue to fire missiles at Israel?

Watch this video at jpost.com. The first part of it shows Hamas terrorists loading a truck with Grad missiles. Suddenly, the screen seems to go blank, but it’s just the brightness of the explosion as the truck disintegrates — along with the terrorists who had been tending to it.

This is what the video should tell you, Hamas: You can’t win, not as long as Israel remains determined to eliminate your missile attacks on the southern part of the country. Give up or go focus your hatred on some other nation.

Enough is enough. Israel should just roll into and over Gaza. Let the Arab nations figure out what to do with the survivors. Israel has played by the appeasers’ rules for too long. All it means is death and destruction for its own citizens. Operation Cast Lead is overdue and, hopefully, will result in victory for Israel.

The cost of farm subsidies

Cato Institute has released the following video as a primer on the problems caused by farm subisidies — higher taxes, higher costs, unethical manipulation of legislation by congressmen representing rural/farm districts. The video focuses on the growth of the USDA as one example of oversized government.

Back on line

The electric line, that is.

After four days without power, meaning nothing to run our furnace, following an ice storm, we’re looking at ways around the inconvenience.

Yes, we are babies. We like our electricity. We like our warmth. We like our light. We like our water. Yet we are trying to find ways to decrease our dependence upon the grid.

Our power went out in the midst of an ice storm on the night of Thursday, Dec. 18. More than 33,000 customers of Ameren/CILCO were without power after that storm and the high winds that followed it. Most of them were back on line within a couple days. We weren’t. The workers, who had to contend with subzero windchills, weren’t able to get to ours until Monday.

The first couple days we handled OK. We fired up the kerosene heater in the kitchen, hauled out the lanterns and lit the candles. Thanks to having a stove/oven that uses a pilot light, we were able to have a hot meal on Friday for the beginning of Sabbath, then read aloud by lantern-light.

After being gone for much of Sabbath to services and visiting with my in-laws, we returned to a chilly house and falling temperatures. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. Sunday to 47.6 degrees, and decided to stay up and get the kerosene heater going so we wouldn’t fall to freezing. For the first of two nights, the outside temperature would fall below zero.

After the kitchen temperature, despite the kerosene heater and oven going, wouldn’t nudge above 65 degrees, we decided to abandon ship and take up an offer a friend had extended. He is caretaker of a ministry camp that had empty lodges. We gathered up clothes and other essentials, including some food, and headed over there, enjoying a warm night’s sleep and morning showers.

During a trip into town for some bread and lunch meat, which would be our supper, we drove to a spot where, we had been told, some lines had fallen. Sure enough, the crews were at work — three cherry-pickers in the air putting up a new pole. A couple hours later, our power was back on.

The only fallout we’ve had were frozen pipes, though they had thawed by this morning with no apparent leaks, and some food that went bad in the refrigerator’s freezer. Food in our chest freezer in the garage stayed cold, probably thanks to cold conditions out there. We also stored food out there from the fridge, and most of it stayed good.

We only let our frustration and spoiledness come through a few times. Most of the time we turned to prayer for the situation and did what we had to do.

Now, however, we’re looking at alternatives, such as a wood-burning stove or a standby generator. Either one would cost a few thousand, but it may be worth it in the end.

You might be a homeschooling family if …

… the first thing your 9-year-old daughter does upon rising is grab a book and start reading.

There’s no rushing to get on the bus or in the car or down the street to school. There’s no busywork or other pointless exercises or activities to keep her occupied most of the day so she’ll stay out of trouble.

One thing I can depend on every morning before I leave for work: My daughter will have a book in hand.

… your 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son each check out 14 books from a library and end up on the couch while dinner’s cooking reading their new finds. (My son cleaned out the Washington, Ill., library of “Nate the Great” books, while my daughter is enamored with books about animals and the “Redwall” series.)

In fact, as they were checking those books out yesterday, the librarian asked my wife if our kids were homeschooled.

Note: My children are not “demented,” as “View” co-host Joy Behar described “a lot” of homeschoolers one day recently on the program. Well, not demented in a bad way.

Interfaith Rick

Rick Warren is truly running the interfaith/compromise tracks these days.

— He’s part of the ONE Sabbath effort aimed at drawing attention to the needs of Africa — AIDS, hunger, poverty, etc. These are all noble causes that must be addressed by the people of God, but not in concert with member of other faiths. The ONE Sabbath involves representatives of several different religions. Imagine if someone had proposed to Elijah that he help famine victims by teaming up with Baal worshippers. Even apart from the multifaith aspect, though, the ONE Sabbath effort relies on government intervention rather than the efforts of ministries. It’s easy to argue that it’s more important to tackle these problems than it is to quibble about religious differences, but to proceed is to deny the uniqueness of Christ. Ultimately, the ONE effort is a lot of hot liberal air, which means that it’s easier to talk about doing something than doing it.

— He’ll be a keynote speaker at the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s convention Saturday, Dec. 20. He has spoken at other non-Christian faith gatherings in the past without offering them the Gospel. He likely will take the same approach here.

— He’ll give the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration. The media is amazed that Obama would allow a pro-life pastor to have such a high profile role and see it as a sign of Obama’s open-mindedness. I see it as a sign of Warren’s willingness to compromise. Obama has voted for partial-birth abortions and sat for 20 years under the spiritual authority of Jeremiah Wright. Warren apparently doesn’t see these things as impediments to asking the Lord’s blessing on Obama’s presidency. We pray for Obama every night in our house — that he will be saved and rescued from a futile life of unbelief. Will Warren do the same at the inauguration? Don’t hold your breath.

Now, I realize that Rick loves the associations with the big names. He’s an inveterate name dropper and braggart about his own success, as is easily seen in this 2005 Pew Forum transcript. That may be one of the reasons he’s doing the inaugurations. But in doing so, he’s also lending — in the eyes of many evangelicals — much legitimacy to Obama, who also has said that one of the first things he intends to do upon taking office is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. So, perhaps, Warren will bless the new president as he goes on his way to do that.

That so many Bible-believing Christians fall in line with Warren and his “Purpose-Driven” fad is disturbing enough. That so many will applaud these things that he’s doing is worse.


Farm subsidies: annual bailout

corn_field-aYou want to talk bailouts? What about the annual federal bailout called “farm subsidies”?

I love farming and farmers (although hugging is strictly off-limits). My grandpa was one. The best summers of my childhood were spent on his farm. My wife, kids and I live in the country on 2 acres, in the middle of farms, and tend to a 1/4-acre garden as well as a half dozen chickens.

omnivoresdilemma_fullBut, as this article points out, most subsidy money goes to corporate farms, not the guys who live in our neighborhood. The impact of these subsidies on the physical health of the nation, let alone the financial health, can be seen in “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”

Also, Thomas Sowell writes in “Basic Economics” that subsidies are never good, that they artifically inflate the cost of food and, eventually, everything else related to the production of that food.

It’d be good to reduce these subsidies. But, since Barack Obama is shaping up to be another FDR with his New New Deal (a/k/a a $1 trillion stimulus package), I doubt that’ll be happening soon.

Why a created universe makes sense

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson

Historian Paul Johnson (“A History of the American People,” “Modern Times“) discusses in his Spectator column why the hypothesis that the  universe was created by God makes more sense than the inanimate hypothesis:

By contrast a personal explanation of the universe, that it was created by God, for good purposes in order eventually to produce humans, themselves capable of pursuing good, is quite simple. God is simple. He is one. All His essential characteristics (including perfect goodness) follow from four properties: he is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly free. The simplest physical cause of the general feature of the universe would be exactly like God: eternal, unlimited and unique. This same cause would have the power to bring about a good universe. It would have the liability to exercise that power, and also since, being physical, would have a location, and the liability to produce effects there which it would not produce elsewhere, thus ensuring uniqueness. The other God-like property of perfect freedom would be the absence of a feature, and especially the absence of a feature in having no rival creative substance or person (which follows from God’s omnipotence). So in sum God is simpler than the simplest possible inanimate explanation.

The entire column is here.

Lake County sheriff changes parties

From Fox Chicago:

Lake Co. Illinois Sheriff Mark Curran today switched from the Democratic Party to the Reublican because–he says–of corruption.

Wonder if he supports a pardon for former GOP Gov. George Ryan?


Oy, it was cold this morning

Bad enough with 6 degree temps and a pretty frisky wind. The water in the chickens’ waterer was, of course, iced up, but so bad today that I had to bring it in to thaw a bit before I could get it open.

S.C. senator points to dangers of bailout

While I disagree with U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s, R-S.C., speculation that we’ll “have riots” is the automakers bailout is passed, he has some wise things to say about the eventual economic impact.

“There is no question this will result in inflation,” DeMint said. “The amount of money we’ve borrowed, the amount of money we’ve printed has put us in a more dangerous situation than we’ve ever been in as a country. We may not see the inflation as long as the economy is slow. But, I’ve talked to some economic experts and once the economy starts picking up with so much money in the money supply and so much debt, we’re likely to see very high interest rates and very high inflation rates.”

On the other hand, higher interest rates wouldn’t be a bad thing for people who actually save some money instead of spending it all.

I have little doubt, though, that the automakers bailout will pass, and that the  nationalization of the U.S. economy will continue under an Obama administration.