Friday, February 27, 2015

In Llama News

In keeping with the stated purpose of my blog, I present...

Llama Wrangling

Yes, there are llamas in Phoenix.

And if that isn't enough llamas for you, here's a Monty Python bit about them...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Sermon: Perilous Times

This know also, that in the last days
perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves,

covetous, boasters,



disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

without natural affection,

truce breakers, false accusers,

incontinent, fierce,

despisers of those that are good, traitors,

heady, high minded,
lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof:

from such turn away.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Jobs for Jihadists

This was too good to pass up....

Why Is Obama's Approval Rating So High?

Looking over the presidential approval polls over the past few weeks (Gallup, Rasmussen), President Obama's job approval rating has risen from around 42 percent to 48 percent. There are some theories about why his rating went up, but the numbers don't really make a lick of sense.

The rise in his job approval doesn't really track with last year's election, or with the new Congress that opened this year. It doesn't even track with his executive action to extend amnesty to illegal migrants.

I have some hypotheses, however, that are yet to be proven, yet may just explain why Obama's popularity is on the rise:
  1. Republicans note that he only has a couple of years left in the White House and are happy to see him go.
  2. There are a lot of golf fans out there who appreciate Obama's dedication to the game.
  3. The staff at Gallup and Rasmussen were replaced by zombies.
  4. The staff at Gallup and Rasmussen were replaced by "jihadi militants."
  5. Mexican immigrants took over the polling system.
  6. ISIS immigrants took over the polling system.
  7. Anti-Christian atheists are no longer a minority in the US.
  8. Polling only takes place in certain areas of Washington DC and Chicago.
  9. The educational system has finally and completely failed in teaching its citizens basic civics.
  10. By the accounts of the numbers of people who went to see 50 Shades of Grey, Americans are heavy into bondage and abuse.
  11. Millions of Americans are suddenly not racist.
  12. Obama's handing out free phones again.
What do you think? Why did the Divider-in-Chief suddenly become so popular?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Paper: Emotional Problems among Children with Same-Sex Parents: Difference by Definition

A friend of mine pointed out a new sociological study that indicates that children raised by same sex parents don't fare as well emotionally as children raised by opposite sex parents, especially by biological parents.

You can find the study here.

The study is based on some solid sociological methodologies and has something to say about the effects of same sex parenting.

However, the study will, inevitably, be excoriated by the PC crowd of progressives, especially those who will allow no dissent against the new sacred cow of same sex marriage. Not only will the study be trashed, the author will be publicly flogged, the school where he resides will be protested, and the journal in which his paper appears will be slammed until it retracts the article.

Same sex marriage advocates have become the latest in a long line of progressive attack dogs. In the name of "equality" and "fairness," they have created a dogma that is so closed minded, so intolerant, and so radically immoral, that most other progressive ideals seem tame and civil by comparison.

There is a great divide within the US, as well as within the West. It is led by zealots who seek to supplant the great ideals of the West with new, "progressive" ones. The destruction of the institution of marriage and the inculcation of children into its priesthood is the latest manifestation of America transformed.

Monday, February 16, 2015

College Freshman Read at 7th Grade Level

While this is hardly news, I came across an article the other day which argued that the average college freshman reads at a seventh grade level (source). Having taught at the university level now for some (mumble mumble mumble) years I've personally seen the decline in reading ability of our college students. From the article:
"We are spending billions of dollars trying to send students to college and maintain them there when, on average, they read at about the grade 6 or 7 level, according to Renaissance Learning’s latest report on what American students in grades 9-12 read, whether assigned or chosen," education expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky [said].... "The average reading level for five of the top seven books assigned as summer reading by 341 colleges using Renaissance Learning’s readability formula was rated 7.56 [meaning halfway through seventh grade]."
I teach political science and history classes and have used the same (or similar) primary source texts for many years. Since the past five or even ten years, I now receive complaints from students about how difficult the readings are. Today's students simply cannot process the readings anymore. Those who do process them, filter them through some progressive-laden filter and miss the plain meaning.

Here is an example of student complaints from just one of the assignments - a reading of the Mayflower Compact (a basic document in US history):
I had a hard time writing on these topics, the Compact in particular. 
I did not like this assignment. The wording on these documents was hard to understand.
A strong indicator over recent years of student inability to read is a decline in overall grades. As I mentioned, I've used the same readings and the same grading rubric for many years, but the overall average grades have declined from an average of around 90% to an average of around 78%.

This drop in reading ability and grades should concern us all. It's too early in the game to blame Common Core on declining student reading, but we can lay the decline squarely at the feet of progressive education doctrine which is based on the false philosophies of standardized assessments and teacher (not student) accountability.

It's time we return to the fundamentals of teaching, not where student progress is measured by incessant and stressful standardized testing, but where student progress is measured by such intangibles as, say, the ability to read.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Gods of Progressivism

Progressivism remakes God in its own image.

Progressives, like Obama, consider that the whole of Western Civilization, including Christianity, was the greatest curse that ever fell on the world throughout all history and throughout all time. This view of the world is patently absurd if, for no other reason, than Western Civilization, including Christianity, created the very philosophical and political base from which progressives argue.

Thinking back on Obama's remarks at the prayer breakfast last week, and thinking about the general attitude of progressives toward religion, especially Christianity, I came across the following quote from a friend's blog:
It is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat, but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds. Talk about man creating God in his own image!
I know some of you will discount the quote because of its source, but the source doesn't negate its accuracy. We hear these ideal echoed in so many phrases of today:

"Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ."

"Well MY god is loving and wants gays to be married."

"You've never read the Bible. Your sky daddy is too dangerous and cruel."

"God would never want us to ignore our own nature."

I'm not interested here in debating what God wants or what he does or does not do. I merely make the observation that progressivism can make the most outrageous and blatant claims because their philosophy, by definition, cannot conceive of a universe that points to moral absolutes. Progressives can lie, cheat, steal, and yes murder, because in their eyes, they worship a deity who blesses their every action, no matter how crooked or perverse.

What I am interested in, is pointing out the flaws and the double standards of progressives as they deny the consequences of their poor decisions and bad actions then merrily run along to pick the marigolds.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I'm Not Impressed By Celebrities

Who are these people, and what are they doing in my living room?

I remember meeting my first celebrity, way back when. I won't date myself by identifying the woman, but she was a young, beautiful, and an established television actress. I was in my tweens and, besides the awkwardness when a puberty-stricken boy meets a beautiful woman, I do remember that I held no awe merely because she was an actress on TV.

I've met several celebrities in my life and have had the same basic reaction: "So?"

By contrast, one of the great moments in my life was when I met a man who was a true intellectual, who had built up a large company, and who kept improving himself by constantly striving to learn and to do more. He was an old man when I met him, yet he continued tirelessly to work by using his resources and money to help others. He was also one of the kindest men I have ever met.

He impressed me. His accomplishments went far beyond merely doing a good job as any decent actor or celebrity would do. His accomplishments included personal improvement, then using his abilities to help others.

I've met one celebrity who impressed me but not for the usual reasons. When I was at UCLA, John Lithgow used to hang around the campus where his wife worked. besides seeing how he treated his wife, one day, as I was going to a movie, I saw him, his wife, and his children all heading into the theater. That impressed me. Mr. Lithgow as an actor does a decent job. As a human being who spent time with his family, he impressed me.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm judgmental. This is a good thing. Unlike the progressive ideal to remove all discrimination, to get off our high horse, or to stop judging people, we all have to make judgments. Progressives, who claim otherwise, delude themselves by thinking they are non-judgmental. My experience, and judgment, tells me otherwise.

We make value judgments. All of us do this,whether we admit it to ourselves or not. When I make judgments, I value honesty, integrity, accomplishment, true intellectualism (not the pseudo-intellectualism taught in universities), compassion, and duty. People who impress me have done something with their lives and have made something for themselves.

Often those aren't qualities we find among among celebrities. Rather, those qualities are found among people who work hard and strive to improve themselves. They are found among the selfless, not the selfish.

Too many progressives, especially progressive celebrities, think they are important, merely because people fawn over them and compliment them. We'll see celebrities make a big show over how much money they donated to a charity, or how many children they've adopted from Cambodia. While some good is brought to the world, these few actions do little to impress me.

By their actions you will know them.

In my experience, truly impressive people do great things because that's who they are, not because that's what they do to promote themselves. There are a lot of smart people in the world, but that means little if being smart also means being ignorant (for example, Barack Obama). There are a lot of wealthy people in the world, but that means little if the wealth is used to destroy the foundational social institutions of Western civilization (for example, George Soros). There are a lot of famous people in the world, but that means little if fame is used to promote more fame and decadence (for example, Miley Cyrus).

I'm not impressed by celebrities. I'm only impressed by accomplishments.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fifty Shades of Depravity

Don't Look!

I don't remember when I first heard of the book Fifty Shades of Grey, but it must have been through the endless advertisements that inhabit my account on Amazon, or more likely on Audible. I've never picked up the book, leafed through it, or even paid attention to such tripe.

Now there's a movie that, considering its advertising budget to sell it, will make a boatload of money, preying on the weaknesses of the American people.

What I completely do not understand is how many women, liberal feminists or otherwise, who seem to be frantic with anticipation for the movie to come out.

I do understand why the movie will be released for Valentine's Day in a shameless attempt to promote the degradation of women as an appeal to love.

The sad consequences of the book and the movie is the glorification of bankrupt ideas and the promotion of evil.

The big lie comes from the assurances of "progressives" and Born Again Atheists who argue that individual evil and destruction has no effect on society at large.

The movie promotes the idea that sex and sadomasochism should be held as great entertainment while it disguises the evil it spreads.

So no. I will not be reading the book, nor will I be seeing the movie.

We are no longer a fallen people. We are a people who happily run toward, and embrace evil.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Liberals Are Absolutely Certain in Their Moral Relativism

I've been out of the loop for a few weeks trying to keep up with the work load at my school. This is a busy time of the year as parents realize that their children are failing the "No Child Left Behind" public school system, and are searching for alternatives to public "education."

This past week, we were all treated to President Obama's understanding of ISIS, religion, and Christianity as he spoke at a prayer breakfast. In his speech he told us we needed to get down off our high horse when we talk about ISIS because, hey, Christians did bad things too in the name of religion.

In case you missed the brouhaha, here's a link to the story on Breitbart's website which, to date, has garnered more than twelve thousand comments:

The president's speech is typical liberal screed and says more about Obama than it says about ISIS, history, or religion.

As I commented on a different conservative site about the president's inability to understand reality, I got in an interesting argument with a liberal who self proclaims himself to be a "superior critical thinker" than I am because he's not saddled down with religion, or faith, or apparently, much of anything at all.

My initial comment was a simple truism. (Yes, I'm quoting myself.):
The gospel of progressivism only accepts moral relativism when it comes to other people's beliefs. Anyone who disagrees with its dogmas deserves ridicule and retribution. In some twisted way, Obama is saying to the rest of the world that America and the West deserve ISIS.
Now I understand liberals more than they seem to understand me or the conservative point of view. And I understand them far more than is comfortable for my own peace of mind. After all, some of my best friends are liberals.

Typically, a liberal troll invaded the website to post a few irrelevant comments, then move on to harass other conservatives. Here was his rebuttal:
You don't know what moral relativism is. It's [sic] means you think your faith gives you morality that is not found elsewhere, whereas we believe your morality is no more privileged than any others [sic].
Besides this liberal troll's absolute certainty in his moral stance to condemn others, he demonstrates his "superior" critical thinking (as he, himself claimed) with a condescending comment, as well as a poor definition of moral relativism.

OK, so maybe I took it as a challenge but he and I went around and around as he proved my point again and again, that liberals only accept moral relativism when it comes to others. They themselves are absolutely assured in their delusions about reality.

As we have seen time and again, the liberal sense of moral superiority is based on their absolute certainty and faith in their own bankrupt and nihilistic dogmas.