Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Obama vs Romney? What's the Difference?

Actually about two to three feet! On the one hand is the left-middle finger; while on the other is the right-middle finger! Thus our people are caught between the two.

Friday, April 03, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: The Rose Conspiracy; Craig Parshall, Harvest House, 2009

"Please don't let this case get to the death-penalty phase. Do that for me, will you?"
Antagonist to her Protagonist attorney
I evaluate books on the basis of our worldviews; clearly we select our reading material on that basis. The following are ten worldview factors considered relevant to an objective review of The Rose Conspiracy:
Moral Offense/Personal factor: very low
Agenda/Worldview factor: high/religious
Readability factor: high
Interest/Attention factor: high - slow to start but ultimately high
Fog/Confusion factor: low
Historical factor (if applicable): strong
Educational factor (if applicable): medium to strong
Novelty factor: high
Finish factor: medium
Overall Rating: On a scale of one to ten - an eight point five; if you're not a history fan, or you're an anti-religion zealot, you may not see it my way ... but, then, I don't really care!

See below for the key to these factors.


According to Harvest House, the publisher ...
Parshall takes his readers to the nation’s capital, where a hitherto unknown [John Wilkes Booth] document has turned up...and turned into murder.

As the Smithsonian’s president examines a newly discovered account of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, an intruder steals in, kills him, and disappears into the night with the document.

Vinnie Archmont, an accomplished and stunningly beautiful artist, is implicated. She hires the brilliant but secretly guilt–burdened criminal law professor J.D. Blackstone.

Blackstone finds himself uncovering the Mystic Freemasons’ most guarded secret. He reluctantly turns to his uncle, a Bible–quoting Anglican priest and occult–religions expert. Enemies like a sorcery–obsessed billionaire English lord, a powerful U.S. Senator, and a ruthless prosecutor force Blackstone to employ all his cunning.

In the process, he is compelled to choose between
[the] spiritual counterfeit and [what is presented as] Gospel truth, [between] guilt and forgiveness ... [as well as between] destruction and a new beginning.
Parenthetical inserts are The CRIB's clarifications.
Overall I enjoyed the read; though not as engrossing as I prefer, it was a pleasant read and not a waste of time as so many are after you've read a couple thousand books in your lifetime; by that I mean the author overcame my overread prejudices.

Those prejudices tended to make the characters and plot somewhat predictable and, in many ways, poorly developed. However, after finishing the book and looking back, I see this criticism as relatively undeserved.

The intent of the author and the publisher was to present a Judeo-Christian wo
rldview in the context of an historical setting. Did they accomplish that? I would answer that with a qualified yes. Simply put "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ" and so I would have preferred a frontal assault on the subject.

By chapter 46 a subtle Judeo-Christian witness picks up and becomes quite well conceived and presented.

At at least one point (about Ch. 28) the reading slowed to a crawl and at another point (about Ch. 37) I began to feel like there were too many cliches being thrown in ... however, in both cases the distraction brief.

As a big fan of historical fiction, I would have enjoyed a greater development of the Lincoln assassination and the plethora of Civil War connections. But on the whole the work did not suffer from their absence.

I would recommend this book to any reader; especially those who enjoy criminal or historical fiction, specifically those with a Judeo-Christian worldview.
Craig Parshall is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Religious Broadcasters Association, and the author of six legal–suspense novels: the five books in the Chambers of Justice series, and the stand–alone Trial by Ordeal. He speaks nationally on legal and Christian worldview issues and is a magazine columnist. He has coauthored five books with his wife, Janet, including the historical novels Crown of Fire and Captives and Kings.
I am not an employee of Harvest House Publishers, nor am I associated with them or the author; additionally, I've received no compensation for this review; the book was provided to me at no cost for the purpose of review by Active Christian Media.

Moral Offense/Personal: did the author include material I found personally or morally offensive?
Agenda/Worldview: did the author use his work to push an agenda or personal worldview?
Readability: how did the text flow; did I have to stop and go back? A little or lots?
Interest/Attention: Was I grabbed early on and held there to the end?
Fog/Confusion: did the author write more than needed? was his style or plot line confusing? did I feel uncertain about where the author was going at any time?
Historical: Since I read lots of historical stuff, were there a lots of historical goodies for me to munch on as I read? (Note: full coarse meals earn "very high" ratings)
Educational: did I learn anything I did not already know or had forgotten?
Novelty: did the author present novel approaches in his plot and people?
Finish: did the author leave me hanging? did I feel cheated after sacrificing my valuable time to read his stupid book? In other words, did he finish his effort in a valiant way?
Overall Rating: the author's final grade; a one is an "F", a five is a "C", and a ten is an "A."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

CRIB NOTE: Been away!

Family, work and the holidays took me away from blogging for awhile. I'm also over at Twitter evaluating its effect on my blogging. Plus I need to evaluate my overall blogging goals - especially at Cristophobia Watch.

Give me a few days and I'll be back ... maybe differently but I'll be back.

Friday, December 26, 2008

BUSH 43: A very good man!

Jeff Emanuel has put a post up as a follow-on to a Washington Times piece on the positive side of the Bush-Cheney legacy.
Whatever problems and disagreements we all may have with President Bush (and I have more than my share, starting with '04-'06 Iraq, '07 Israel, '07-'08 North Korea and Iran, TARP, immigration, NCLB, the Auto Bailout, and many, many more), there's one fact which all who are not blinded by the most irrational form of Bush Derangement Syndrome can agree on: a very good man is leaving the White House in just under a month.
I've my problems with the man too, but bottom-line I'd love to call him friend.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

POLITICAL: Ephemeral links by their common ancestry!

The CRIB's periodically fugacious concerning all things political ...
  • GUNS: More people in America are killed by pit bulls, than by NRA card holders. [FOX News]

  • JUSTICE FOR ALL: Not hardly - California's judicial system is thoroughly irrational and out of the control of the people. [FOX News]

  • SPLIT PERSONALITY: Time Magazine makes Obama "Man of the Year" one month and then calls him a bigot the next! A little conflicted wouldn't you say? [News Busters]

  • OBAMA AND GUNS: He says "take me at my word" - Hmmmm!!! Seems his base did and are not happy now! [American Thinker]

  • STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: Air America agrees with Rush Limbaugh on the fairness doctrine - Jon Sinden of AA says libs don't need FD to compete - WOW [News Busters]

  • GLOBALISM: Denials aside, I'm convinced if the USA is taken over, it will be from the inside by outsiders. [FOX News]

  • LIBERTY: Maggie's Farm has some thoughts on the subject. [Maggie's Farm]

FAITH: Ephemeral links by their common ancestry!

The CRIB's periodically fugacious concerning people and events of faith ...
  • MARRIAGE: Well written response to Newsweek's diatribe duo, Meacham and Miller - WARNING: Traditional view presented [Tennessee Baptist Convention]

  • HAGGARD: it's hard to forgive this guy - but the Lord says we must. [FOX News]

  • ELIMINATIONALISTS: WSJ via Maggie's Farm - Rick Warren and the left are "eliminationalists" - I don't believe the former, but I do the latter [WSJ; Maggie's Farm]

  • EUTHANASIA: a rational argument against it - Physician Assisted Suicide not justifiable - it's an act of individualism. [Doc Is In]

  • PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Counselor caught on video resigns - now will the rest of them follow her example? [FOX News]

  • CONSTITUTION: Here's Separation of Church and State I can live with ... can't have cake and eat it too ... I hope! [Yahoo! News]

  • CHILD PORN: appellate court gets one right - sexual images with kids, even if drawn or digital, are illegal. [FOX News]

SIGNS OF THE TIMES: Ephemeral links by their common ancestry!

The CRIB's periodically fugacious concerning church & cultural decay ...
  • Getting away with murder in the land of the free and the home of the brave: despite the popularity of TRU TV's Forensic Files and CBS's CSI triumvirate, the homicide clearance rate in the good ole USA has dropped by a third in a third of a century. [Yahoo! News]

  • DEEPAK CHOPRA: skillfully debunked by someone who, until recently, didn't even know the nonsense guru existed. Chopra blames his adopted country for the world' problems but makes no mention of Islamic fundamentalist's murderous global Jihad. [Am Spectator]

  • SECULAR HUMANISM: Interesting Telegraph UK piece that comes alongside my posted review of Herb London's "America's Secular Challenge" [Telegraph UK; Sheep's Crib]

  • SOCIAL ENGINEERING: Explain this to me - it's okay for your adolescent children to have tattoos and body piercings but not our pets / Hello! [Yahoo! News]

  • ENDANGERED SPECIES: California Supremes put the Good Samaritan on the list. [LAT]

  • 2008 WRAP-UP: Brussels Journal has an excellent wrap-up of "signs" from the UK and the Continent. [TBJ]

SCIENCE / TECH: Ephemeral links by their common ancestry!

The CRIB's periodically fugacious concerning the scientific & technological ...
  • I'm fascinated by old (even deceased) publications ... this is great ...
    Google has added a magazine rack to its Internet search engine. As part of its quest to corral more content published on paper, Google Inc. has made digital copies of more than 1 million articles from magazines that hit the newsstands decades ago.

    For now, the old magazine articles can be found only through Google's search service for finding digital copies of books. But the Mountain View, Calif.-based company plans to eventually include magazine articles in its general search results.

    Users who want to restrict the scope of their inquiries to magazines can choose that option through the book search's "advanced" function.
    [Yahoo! News]

  • Excavation unearths British Mensa ...
    British archaeologists have unearthed an ancient skull carrying a startling surprise — an unusually well-preserved brain. Scientists said Friday that the mass of gray matter was more than 2,000 years old — the oldest ever discovered in Britain. One expert unconnected with the find called it "a real freak of preservation."
    [Yahoo! News]

  • SANCTITY OF LIFE: OK and rain causes wet grass ... duh? [Black Kettle]

  • Faith & Science have been at war for 3 centuries: a commentary. [First Things]

  • Somnambulism yes but somnpostalism? Naw! [Telegraph UK; h/t Brain Terminal]

  • Ten 2008 health stories FOX News thinks you need to know about ... [FOX News]

  • KID'S HEALTH: CDC recommends "23 vaccine injections (item 3) for kids by time they turn 2two years old" What are they thinking? [FOX News]

Sunday, December 21, 2008

SANCTITY OF LIFE: Right to life declared in 1776!

While "tweeting" on Twitter this am (shame on us we skipped church) I was urged to click over to Red State and read ...
The Declaration of Independence, in which our Rights as Americans and humans were so eloquently advanced, stated that all humans are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable (intrinsic, non-severable) Rights. It does not state that humans are born equal, but created so. For this reason it matters when human life is created. For the answer we turn to science.

Ask any geneticist when life begins and (assuming sexual reproduction) they’ll tell you it’s when the ovum is fertilized by the sperm. At that point the fertilized egg has the same genetic structure it will have for its entire life, and much of the course of its future life is set, unless interrupted by accident or violent attack. Life begins when the genetic structure is in place and the biological processes begin. It’s the same with a human as it is with a kangaroo or an amoeba. Life, human or otherwise, begins at the beginning. That is the instant of creation. The act of creation invoked in the Declaration is found at the beginning of life.
[Red State - LJ Miller]
I would highly recommend my readers do what I did and read this fine piece. Lot's of comments over there.

One thought we must grasp from this: from a pro-life and Constitutional perspective one must see the DNA of A, impregnated with the DNA of B, combining to create the DNA of C; C's DNA didn't exist till the genetic combination of DNA from donors A and B.

C's DNA does not equal A's DNA or B's DNA (unless A and B are identical twins), it is unique.

Since human life is schematically represented by its DNA (something it mysteriously acquires at or immediately following impregnation; the egg losing its donor's uniqueness, and the sperm losing its donor's uniqueness), life as we define human life must by default begin at or immediately a following impregnation.

It boggles my mind that so many fail to see the simplicity of this: to abort a fetus is to end a human life and, also by default, violates that American's right to equal protection.

I don't claim to have all the answers but you don't have to be a genius or a Phd to see this.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

POLITICAL: Ephemeral links by their common ancestry!

The CRIB's periodically fugacious concerning all things political ...
  • FAIRNESS DOCTRINE: look out Beck, O'Reilly and Dobbs - Solis the Socialist is coming through the back door [Yahoo!]

  • INSANITY: "Like putting Cheney in charge of gun control," Joy Behar [News Busters]

  • MSM: Obama seems to be ending up on the floor a lot lately; odd considering being in bed with them during the whole campaign. [News Busters]

  • ECON 101: classic article on basic economics - The Pencil - 1st read this via Sowell several years ago. [FEE; h/t Am. Digest]

  • MSM: "Ann Curry, you can't handle the truth." And Rick Warren gave it to her! [News Busters]

  • SOCIALISM: NYT helps move USA to left then complains when China censors them? [FOX News]

  • NATO: America's retreat to fortress foreign policy will replace NATO's dependence on US defense umbrella w/ all the attendant risks. [Brussels Journal]

Friday, December 19, 2008

POLITICAL: Ephemeral links by their common ancestry!

The CRIB's periodically fugacious concerning all things political ...
  • You have to admit Obama's campaign logo was and is effective ... like to know how it came to be? [Next Gen GOP]

  • Does the Hill have her own Constitutional Crisis? Yes she does, according to some. [Am Spectator]

  • FAIRNESS DOC: again & again we're told by the left they won't seek reinstatement of fairness doctrine but here it is again [NewsBusters]

  • E!! points us to a political grid test - where do you land? Left/right? Authoritarian/Libertarian? [Political Compass; h/t E!!]
  • Coming to our shores soon - censorship the European way; "Freedom is what freedom does!" - Forrest Gump [Brussels Journal]

  • Interesting Telegraph UK piece that comes alongside my posted review of Herb London's "America's Secular Challenge" [Telegraph UK; Sheep's Crib]

  • IRAQ VICTORY: death rate in Basra, Iraq, now lower than that of Detroit, Mich. Cobb says, "smells like victory" [Cobb]

FAITH: Ephemeral links by their common ancestry!

The CRIB's periodically fugacious concerning people and events of faith ...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: America's Secular Challenge - Herbert London

As the effects of and depression from Mistake '08 begin to wear off, my mind swirls with questions, issues, imperatives, responsibilities, and choices.

Often I imagine I must write a book on all of this, especially radical Islam, but the jumble of thoughts won't coalesce: hard and soft jihad, terrorism, taxes, America's socialistic drift, family, finances, deeply held spiritual concerns, children and grandchildren, collapse of traditionally democratic Europe, AIDS, political malfeasance, Sanctity of Human Life, absence of godliness, voter ignorance, biblical ignorance, and public ignorance ... to name a few.

But my main concern has been the continuing rise of secular humanism - a menacing cultural, geopolitical, and philosophical hydra - among our people, and its debilitating affect upon our will to defend ourselves.

Well, Herbert London (bio below) has had the same concerns and written a 97 page book which expresses them better than I ever could have.

From the Hudson Institute web site (CRIB's emphasis):
In this timely and wide-ranging book ... London argues that the pervasive culture of secularism in the United States is an inadequate response to the challenge of radical Islam. As London explains, in the so-called war of ideas, our reflexive belief in relativism has handicapped our ability to thwart the inroads of fanaticism.

Taken together, traditional religion, multiculturalism and cultural relativism, materialism, and the belief in scientific rationality as the ultimate arbiter of human value underwrite a view of life that is ill-equipped to meet the challenge of a zealous enemy with totalitarian ambitions. In undermining the traditional roots of America, secular humanism has destroyed the West’s only beliefs worth defending.

This anemic remodeling of our culture has left us exposed in the monumental battle against ideological forces with radical global ambitions. America’s Secular Challenge is a sobering wake-up call and a battle plan for the political and existential trials of the twenty-first century.
Author's Bio:
Herbert I. London is president of the Hudson Institute, a world renown think-tank in Washington DC. He is professor emeritus and the former John M. Olin Professor of Humanities at New York University. And he was responsible for creating the Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 1972 and was its dean until 1992. This school was organized to promote the study of "great books" and classic texts.


In 1989, Dr. London was one of the Republican candidates for Mayor of New York City. In 1990 he was the Conservative Party Candidate for Governor of New York garnering more votes than any third party candidate in the state's history. ....
Order your copy of this must read book here. Look, it's only 97 pages, who can't read 97 pages of really readable counsel. And for $18.00, the content cost less than 20 cents per page. And if you are a believer in American traditionalism and exceptionalism you would be wise to read America's Secular Challenge.

I actually made copious notes to prepare for this review but have decided the above is sufficient to the purpose here. If you have questions, leave a comment or email me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

JIHAD (Hard & Soft): Ephemeral links by their common ancestry!

The CRIB's periodically fugacious concerning Jihad, both soft (activist) & hard (militant) ...
  • HARD - re imminent bio-terror attack - with any luck, Jeb Bush will be elected 45th POTUS in 2012 so the Dems, the Libs, and the Leftists will have a Bush to blame for it in 2013. [Yahoo! News]

  • HARD - re the above terror warning, Threats Watch has a readable summary of the report and the threat. [Threats Watch]
  • SOFT - ALLAH is not the “express image of the invisible God” only _____ is! [Bart Barber; h/t Moore to the Point]

Monday, December 15, 2008

POLITICAL: Ephemeral links by their common ancestry!

The CRIB's periodically fugacious concerning all things political ...