Saturday, 9 March 2013

Song Saturday. Your Milage May Vary.

I used to be into music in a big way and had a collection of hundreds of records (vinyl) of the 60's, the "hippie" era, psychedelic music. That went a long time ago. I listen to music occasionally now, mostly classical and light jazz, but music is no longer a big part of my life. In truth I prefer the sounds of silence. No, not the Simon and Garfunkle song, just silence.

I have, however, been a long time, although on and off, fan of CCM, contemporary Christian music primarily a la Gather Homecoming style. If you are a fan of CCM you know who I mean. If not, I will introduce you at a later time.

Around Christmas this year I was introduced to the wonderful, wonderful music of Keith and Krysten Getty and looked from one end of this Province to the other for their Christmas album without success.
Last week began listening to them on Youtube and was very much impressed. Krysten Getty has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard.

While surfing the Gettys I discovered Stuart Townend who has, seemingly, been around forever and has produced some truly amazing CCM. More recently he has fallen in to writing songs with Keith Getty. Townend will produce an album of their songs done his way and the Getty's will release one done their way. You want to listen to them both. Beautiful.

One of Townend's songs that I ran into was From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable which many listen to as a Christmas carol but which really is a beautiful anthem for all occasions.

This was done by Townend well over a decade ago and there are no videos of him doing this live although the this piece is from a life concert and thus the quality is lower. None the less it is a beautiful piece of song writing and a beautiful piece of music and I hope you enjoy it. The lyrics are embedded in the video.

If CCM is not for you no matter how beautiful it can be then I suggest you go here and listen to the Gentrys do Keep On Dancing.

Spring Has Sprung, the Grass Has Riz. (Photos)

The weather forecasters told us this would be an old fashioned winter. I was expecting the worst. After all, I have lived in northern Canada for over 40 years now and I remember old fashioned winters when the mercury went down to 40 and 50 degrees below zero and stayed there wor weeks. I remember snow so deep I was shoveling snow up off the garage roof.

This was not an old fashioned winter. In fact, it was hardly a winter. I have been ready to call "spring" for two weeks now. The temperatures have been remarkable. For the last two days the temperatures have been really remarkable. It feels like spring. It is warm. The snow is melting.

As much as I am enjoying it, this is not a good thing. When spring hits early like this we are in for a very dry summer with acute water shortages and massive forest fires like we had three years ago when we couldn't see across the river valley for smoke.

Perhaps we will get a rainy summer to make up for things. I am not wishing for that. Just hoping for some balance.

While the following pictures may not look like spring to you, trust me, it is. These are from today's walk. I wore a jacket that turned out to be too warm. I was in a sweat  the entire time.

The Fraser River Looking South.

The Old Fraser River Bridge Looking North.

Fraser River North.

The Cottonwood Trees Are Budding.

Looking Across the Mouth of the Quesnel River.

Quesnel River.

Quesnel River.

Across the Quesnel River.

Quesnel River.

This Is Hysterical

This is a truly brilliant and hysterical piece of writing that went viral this morning. It was first reported as being factual but it is, of course, satire but although satire it pokes a funny, but accurate, hole in Keynesian economic theory the Democrats are currently using to destroy the country.

HT Wintery Knight


From The Daily Currant
Economist and columnist Paul Krugman declared personal bankruptcy today following a failed attempt to spend his way out of debt.

In a Chapter 13 filing to the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, lawyers for Krugman listed $7,346,000 in debts versus $33,000 in assets.

The majority of his debts are related to mortgage financing on a $8.7 million apartment in lower Manhattan, but the list also includes $621,537 in credit card debt and $33,642 in store financing at famed jeweler Tiffanys and Co.

The filing says that Krugman got into credit card trouble in 2004 after racking up $84,000 in a single month on his American Express black card in pursuit of rare Portuguese wines and 19th century English cloth

Rather than tighten his belt and pay the sums back, the pseudo-Keynesian economist decided to "stimulate" his way to a personal recovery by investing in expenses he hoped would one day boost his income.
Cockroaches and Creditors
Between 2004 and 2007 Krugman splurged on expensive cars, clothes, and travel in hopes that the new lifestyle would convince his bosses at the New York Times to give him a giant raise.

"They say always dress for the job you want," Krugman explains. "So I thought maybe if I showed up in $70,000 Alexander Amosu suits they would give me ownership of part of the company. If I had only been granted a sliver of the New York Times Co., I could have paid everything back."

Even after he realized an equity stake was not going to happen, Krugman continued to spend wildly hoping his bling and media appearances would increase demand for his personal brand and lift his book sales.

His biggest mistake came in 2007, when at the height of the financial bubble he decided to invest in high-end real estate in New York City. His multi-million dollar apartment lost 40 percent of its value just months after its purchase, and has been underwater ever since.

"You'd think a Nobel Prize winning economist could recognize a housing bubble," says Herman Minsky, a retired television executive who purchased Krugman's home at a huge discount. "But hey, I'm not complaining."
Conscience of a Fraud 
Krugman, a renowned trade economist, joined the New York Times as a columnist in 2000. Since the start of the financial crisis he as used the platform to argue vociferously for what he terms Keynesian deficit spending.

However, Keynes did not advocate using debt financing to stimulate the economy. Rather, he argued that government should save in the good times and spend in the bad.

Through his lawyer, Bertil Ohlin, Krugman explains that despite his travails with spending and debt in his personal finances, he stands by his pseudo-Keynesian policies.

"I still defend my analysis that on the macroeconomic level sovereign debt crises can be fixed by increasing government borrowing to lift aggregate demand. I admit, however, that on the microeconomic level this strategy has failed spectacularly."

Are Christians the New Jews?

Over at Patheos, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein has penned an outstanding read that is worthy of our attention. While the article is long and bloggers attention spans notoriously short, I urge you to give this a few moments of your time.

The Velvet Kippah

If you are fortunate enough to possess the truth, you do not compromise or sacrifice it, even if it means that you continue on only as tiny fleck of mankind.

February 20, 2013

"If you want to understand us, study our story, learn of our pain." That is what Jews told Christians who wanted to build new bridges of respect after the Holocaust. Ironically, when Christians begin listening to the story of the Jews, they are finding reflections of themselves.

Christians who listened learned of a Jewish history written in blood from ancient to modern times. When they thought of Christian martyrdom, on the other hand, they had to turn for the most part to antiquity, to early Christianity under the thumb of Roman emperors.

That has all changed. While Jews feel threatened by the massive explosion of global anti-Semitism in the last years, coupled with Iranian and Islamist calls for the genocidal destruction of all Jews, very few Jews in 2013 are dying because of their faith or their roots. Christians, on the other hand, have become the New Jews.

As hard as it is to believe, Christians are now beginning to face the same. Open Doors, a Christian ministry devoted to assisting persecuted believers, reported recently that despite the many centuries of Christian roots in Syria, some Islamist Syrians have been telling their Christian neighbors to "go back to their own country." In their view, Christians have become the "other," foreigners in the country in which they live.

Even where Jews were tolerated, they were treated as the refuse of mankind. Voltaire, a veritable icon of enlightenment, wrote that the Jews had never offered the world anything in the areas of art, invention, philosophy, mathematics, or astronomy. "In short, we find in them only an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long united the most sordid avarice with the most detestable superstition and the most invincible hatred for every people by whom they are tolerated and enriched. Still, we ought not to burn them." Today, Christians—especially those who take their faith most seriously—report that they feel like a scorned stepchild within general culture. They are mocked and derided, and treated as intellectual pygmies who have nothing to offer the better, more enlightened people around them.

Christians who listen to the Jewish saga begin to understand how Jews lived with themselves through the long centuries of persecution. Jews felt the power of conviction—of belief that if you are fortunate enough to possess the truth, you do not compromise or sacrifice it, even if it means that you continue on only as tiny fleck of mankind. Ironically, those who mocked Jews for their insignificance now consider voluntarily choosing to live with the same ethic. Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered, among other things, for his theological depth, for facing intellectual challenges head-on and refusing to water down what he considered essential truths. Writing as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in Das Salz von der Erde, he made a startling confession. "We might have to part with the notion of a popular Church. It is possible that we are on the verge of a new era in the history of the Church, under circumstances very different from those we have faced in the past, when Christianity willresemble the mustard seed [Matthew 13:31-32], that is, will continue only in the form of small and seemingly insignificant groups, which yet will oppose evil with all their strength and bring Good into this world."

Lastly, Christians are discovering their Jewish roots—how deeply dependent Christianity had been on its Jewish beginnings. As T.S. Eliot put it, "And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time."

That place, for many Christians today, is looking more Jewish all the time.

That term used to be a theological one, telling the faithful that G-d's covenants with the Jewish people had been rewritten in favor of new beneficiaries: Christians. Today, however, it means that Christians have succeeded Jews as the numerically most persecuted people on the face of the earth. In a huge swath of territory from Nigeria east and north to Iran and Pakistan, millions of Christians live in fear of losing their property or their lives simply because they are Christians. In the Assyrian Triangle of Iraq, the campaign of church-burning, clergy-killing, and terror has all but decimated the historically oldest Christian communities. Egypt's Copts, a full 10 percent of her population, treated for decades as second-class citizens, now face an even more uncertain future as Egypt's constitution moves the country closer to Sharia.

Christians who study Jewish history learn that for close to two thousand years, even when Jews were not being killed, they were terrorized from cradle to grave. They could not speak their mind or voice opinions about political matters. Anything they said might be used against them with deathly consequences as leadership changed, or rulers changed their minds about protecting "their" Jews from expulsion or death. Moreover, on the rare occasion when they enjoyed enough protection to speak or act, they knew that they might be endangering their coreligionists elsewhere, and so learned to remain mute even in the face of horrific tragedy.

Christians today have learned to keep silent while their hearts are exploding with rage. Clergy in Muslim countries have had to turn the other cheek not for religious and moral reasons, but because speaking up against their masters would endanger too many in their own community, or in those of nearby countries. The only country in the Middle East in which Christian population is increasing and Christians enjoy complete freedom of religion is Israel. Yet many Christian clergy in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon parrot the anti-Israel invective of those who control their neighborhoods.

Christians learn that for two thousand years, Jews had no place to call home. They were at-will residents, often having to buy the right from some local ruler simply to breathe. The emergence of the State of Israel changed that, but that change is imperiled by a growing chorus of voices calling for the dismantling of the Jewish State. Amoz Oz put it best. "In the 1930s our enemies said: Jews to Palestine. Now they say: Jews out of Palestine. They don't want us to be here. They don't want us to be there. They don't want us to be."
Yitzchok Adlerstein is an Orthodox rabbi who directs interfaith affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and chairs Jewish Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He is hopelessly addicted to the serious study of Torah texts.

Adlerstein's column, "The Velvet Kippah," is published on alternate Tuesdays on the Jewish portal. Subscribe via email or RSS.

OUTSTANDING! The Real State of the Union Address by Bill Whittle

This video needs to go viral. Please repost on your page and everywhere else you can post it.

A Bit of Good News For A Change

This little bit of good news went mainly unreported today by the lame stream media who must never, ever report any objection to Der Fuehrer's wish. While it stands little chance of passing all the way through Congress at least 50 members showed some brass today.

Republican House Members Introduce Conscience Protection Act

Three Republican members of Congress, along with 47 co-sponsors, have announced a legislative effort to protect conscience rights. House Representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and John Fleming, M.D. (R-LA) hosted a press conference this morning to introduce the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (NCCRA). According to a press release, the legislation is designed to protect American’s First Amendment rights and prevent the administration’s assault on religious freedom.

"We have come together to act to protect Americans' most basic rights - our rights of conscience and religious freedom," Representative Fortenberry told The Cardinal Newman Society. "The bill simply restores the basic rights in health care that were widely accepted before the implementation of the new health care law.”

The press release went on to explain:

Under the health care coverage mandate issued on August 3,2011, widely known as the HHS mandate, organizations and their managers are now facing potentially ruinous financial penalties for exercising their First Amendment rights, as protected by law. Hobby Lobby, a family business that was denied injunctive relief from the mandate and faces fines of up to $1.3 million dollars a day, unless its owners agree to fund potentially abortion-inducing drugs. If Hobby Lobby is forced to close its doors, some 25,000 jobs nationwide may disappear. The Obama Administration’s HHS mandate exemption only includes houses of worship and does not account for the thousands of religious and non-religious affiliated employers that find it a moral hazard to cover sterilization, contraception and potentially abortion-inducing drugs on their employer-based health insurance. Ultimately, the so-called “accommodation” does not protect anyone’s religious rights, because allcompanies and organizations will still be forced to provide insurance coverage that includes services which conflict with their religious convictions. The HCCRA would address this violation of our First Amendment rights by providing a full exemption for all those whose religious beliefs run counter to the Administration’s HHS mandate.

The release continued:

The HCCRA also protects institutions and individuals from forced or coerced participation in abortion. In recent years there have been several examples of nurses being told they must participate in abortions. There have also been efforts to require Catholic Hospitals to do abortions, and a Catholic social service provider was denied a grant to assist victims of human trafficking on the basis of their pro-life convictions. The HCCRA codifies and clarifies the appropriations provision known as the HydeWeldon conscience clause. This is accomplished by adding the protections for healthcare entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer for abortion to the section of the Public Health Service Act known as the Coats Amendment. It also adds the option of judicial recourse for victims whose rights have been violated under the HCCRA, Coats, or the conscience clauses known as the Church amendments.

In addition to the three members of the House Republican caucus, those who have been affected by the HHS mandate also appeared at the press conference. They included: Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo, a New York State Registered Nurse who filed suit after her freedom to serve patients according to her conscience was violated; Susan Elliott, director and professor at Biola University’s nursing department; and Christine Ketterhagen, co-owner and board member of Hercules Industries, Inc., who appeared with co-plaintiff Andy Newland, President of Hercules, and Bill Newland, Chairman of the Board.


Why Did the TSA Spend $1000 Per Employee On New Uniforms?

Why did the TSA spend $1000 per employee on new uniforms?

Well, jackboots are expensive, you know.

Well Said

Over on Twitter Teampyro member Dan Phillips said:
@BibChr: Celebrities who spk out shld have to say, "I'm not a person of intelligence, char and accomplishment, I only play one in the movies; but..."
I agree 100%.


Do you remember Buckwheat from the old Our Gang movie shorts that later ran on early television too?

Turns out he moved to Ireland and converted to Islam.

All Muslim converts are given new names so from now on he will be known as Kareem O'Wheat.

That is all. I now return you to your regular blogging.

Put In My Place By A Three Year Old

Grandson Silas goes to daycare but it is quite structured and there is not a lot of playtime there. After daycare he is looked after by his older sisters. Silas' family is wired to the hilt. His Dad is a computer technician and they have all the toys, tablets, iPads, iPhones, Androids, televisions everywhere. It is a geeks paradise. At three years and 4 months Silas has mastered them all and that is primarily his play.

His cousin Zephyr is the opposite. Zephyr has a childs tablet but he doesn't care too much about it and he doesn't sit still long enough to watch television. Zephyr's life is toys and the outdoors and pets and wrestling with his brother.

The other day I picked Silas up from daycare and took him home. I told him I had just seen his cousin Zephyr. Silas said, "Zephyr is my friend."

Yesterday daughter Christina stopped at Amy's for a moment and the two boys played and were delighted to see each other. When Chris went to leave Silas began to cry and so she took him for the day for a play date. Silas had a great time but when Chris brought him back home he started to cry again and begged Christina to let him spend the night.

So, Silas went back out to the farm for a sleep over. We all figured that Christina would have to make a middle of the night drive back to town when Silas got home sick as he has never spent a night away from Mom and Dad and his sisters.

He never made a peep. Played until bedtime, went to bed with his cousin, got up this morning and started to play again. He had the time of his life out on the farm and still didn't want to come home.

This evening I called down there to speak to him. His mother told him someone was on the phone for him. "Is it Zephyr?" I heard him ask. "You'll have to see," she said.

When he got on the phone I said, "Hi, Silas, this is Grandpa. Do you want to come have a sleepover with me?"

Not a word! He handed the phone back to his mother and I heard him say, "I don't want to talk to Grandpa. I want to talk to Zephyr."

Ha.That was telling me.

I doubt Zephyr is ready yet to be away from home although it shocked me Silas was. But until Zephyr reaches that maturity I suspect Christina is going to have an extra kid every weekend now.
Silas just grew up a long ways for a three year old.

Fart Sunday

With apologies to Art Sunday I present, Fart Sunday.

I know it is juvenile but it had me in tears.