Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Why Universal Health Care is a Bad Idea

The New York Times has an important article detailing the failings of Canada's public health care system. Registration is required, but here are a few key excerpts:

"Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment.

But no one is about to arrest Dr. Brian Day, who is president and medical director of the center, or any of the 120 doctors who work there. Public hospitals are sending him growing numbers of patients they are too busy to treat, and his center is advertising that patients do not have to wait to replace their aching knees."

and

"The median wait time between a referral by a family doctor and an appointment with a specialist has increased to 8.3 weeks last year from 3.7 weeks in 1993, according to a recent study by The Fraser Institute, a conservative research group. Meanwhile the median wait between an appointment with a specialist and treatment has increased to 9.4 weeks from 5.6 weeks over the same period.

Average wait times between referral by a family doctor and treatment range from 5.5 weeks for oncology to 40 weeks for orthopedic surgery, according to the study."


Saturday, February 25, 2006

White Privilege, Multiculturalism, and Marxism

Paulos is back to blogging on multiculturalism again. He has begun a series on critiqueing Peggy McIntosh's essay, "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." There is a little more history in this blog entry.

What I don't understand, is what good do people like McIntosh intend when arguing that white's have privileges that those in other races do not. What does it accomplish beyond divisiveness? What good does it do but draw lines of distinction? Oughtn't we be more concerned about finding common ground and affirm the good, rather than focus on the bad?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Free Books (Again)

Scott Lamb is giving away 250 books and 100 audio sermon CD's today at noon CST. There were several good titles last time, and I'm sure there will be another good selection today.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

George Washington: Christian?

National Review Online has posted an interview with Michael and Jana Novak, authors of Washington's God. They argue, against conventional wisdom, that George Washington was in fact a Christian--not a deist as most believe.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Draft Dodging Revisionism

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Peace activists have revived plans for a sculpture to commemorate Vietnam War draft resisters who fled to Canada, a proposal that had drawn the ire of U.S. veterans groups and conservatives.

The activists, who are also organizing a reunion for "draft dodgers" in July, said on Tuesday the proposed monument is still needed to warn Americans and Canadians about the dangers of militarism.

"It is very important educationally that we have specific peace monuments," said Isaac Romano, an American who immigrated to Canada and now lives in British Columbia's Kootenay region where many U.S. war resisters settled...

The proposal calls for a sculpture of two Americans, a male and a female, crossing an imaginary border where a Canadian figure is waiting to welcome them.

It has been estimated that 125,000 draft-age Americans fled to Canada to avoid Vietnam and prosecution under U.S. law, although about half returned home after President Jimmy Carter granted amnesty in 1977.

__________________________________________________________________


This is unbelievable! These people want to commemorate cowards! Does our culture have a remaining sense of honor or duty? Is moral equivalency all that our culture is capable of?

W. Thomas Smith Jr. asks a pertinent question at The Corner, "... what draft would the female have been dodging?"

HT: The Corner

Abortion: Righteous Anger?

Do you think this writer is prochoice or pro-life based on this excerpt of a Star Tribune editorial?

"First Richard, a Franciscan priest, answered that this is indeed a painful issue [Abortion] but that it is not the only "pro-life" issue that progressives -- even Catholics -- should concern themselves with during elections. There are also the matters of capital punishment and the war in Iraq, and of HIV. Then Jim, an evangelical, spoke about the need to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and the need to defuse abortion as a political issue, by welcoming prochoice and prolife supporters to the discussion, with equal respect for their positions. He spoke gently about how "morally ambiguous" the issue is. I sat there simmering, like a samovar; nice Jesusy me. The moderator turned to me and asked quietly if I would like to respond. I did: I wanted to respond by pushing over our table."

Am I the only one that would have wanted to push that table over too? The worst part of this story is that the writer, Anne Lamott is pro-choice. It is stunning to me that a professing Christian can write this,

"But then I announced that I needed to speak out on behalf of the many women present in the crowd, including myself, who had had abortions, and the women whose daughters might need one in the not-too-distant future -- people who must know that teenage girls will have abortions, whether in clinics or dirty backrooms. Women whose lives had been righted and redeemed by Roe vs. Wade."

She actually used the word "redeemed" to describe Roe vs. Wade!

If this woman can scarcely have a dialogue with "two priests with progressive spiritual leanings," how can we, stuck-in-the-mud Christians ever have a dialogue with this kind of woman? Lord, help us!

Update 02/21/06 - Al Mohler has written about Anne Lamott's editorial on his blog.

Culpepper on the Trading Block

The Minnesota Vikings are shopping quarterback Daunte Culpepper's around the NFL according to the Star Tribune. It is hard to be optimistic about the Vikings for 2006. A new coach has brought a new offensive and defensive schemes. New players are required to allow both to function properly. The article also states that the Vikings have signed a new fullback to fulfill the requirements of the west-coast offense.

Not only do these new schemes make next season harder for the players, but the Vikings will likely have Brad Johnson behind center again, requiring that the Vikings plan for the future with a new franchise quarterback.

Sosa's Done

Sammy Sosa is likely done with his major league career according to his agent, Adam Katz. Sosa went out with a whimper last year, having by far the worst season in his career. It will be interesting to see how history treats him.

It is impossible to not wonder if his career wasn't launched not only by Don Baylor's tutelage, but by steroid use. The respect I once had for Sammy is all but gone. It is sad to have his wonderful career tainted by lingering questions about steroid use.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Book Completed, A Book Begun

A few weeks ago I wrote a brief post on Sinclair Lewis' Main Street. Since then I have read P.G. Wodehouse's The Inimitable Jeeves, and I began reading W. Somerset Maugham's The Painted Veil.

Wodehouse is the funniest writer that I've encountered, and is widely praised as a brilliant comic. I read Right Ho, Jeeves nearly a year ago and wanted to read a comedy before moving on to some more serious novels. I was not disappointed. I could not possibly recommend Wodehouse highly enough.

I am now approximately half way through reading The Painted Veil. I've had two previous encounters with Maugham. I read The Razor's Edge first and soon followed that up with Of Human Bondage. I enjoyed both books immensely, but haven't read him in more than two years. The Razor's Edge is one of my favorite books, though I found Of Human Bondage more difficult to read--but much more challenging and rewarding.

The Painted Veil deals largely with the results of marital infidelity and the human desires for love and the soul's capacity for evil. There is actually a film version of the novel currently filming, that will star Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, and Liev Schreiber.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Home Price Valuations

A friend of mine directed me to the website Zillow.com, a free home price valuation website. I believe the prices are inaccurate, but the market indicators and comparables are very helpful.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Emerging Church in the News

The Star Tribune has a story about local emerging church, Solomon's Porch. There isn't much new covered in the article, but for those with little to no knowledge about the emerging church, it may be helpful.

The article argues that the primary advantage to emerging churches is a closer sense of community. A smaller church body will certainly offer a closer sense of community than the mega-churches it uses as a foil to Solomon's Porch, but I really wonder if that is the primary motivation of those attending such a church.

One sentence does give me pause, "The service feels more like a party." A party? This is worrisome. Perhaps this is merely the sense a non-believer receives, who is unaccustomed to a church service.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Multiculturalism

Woodchips and Text Musings has posted an essay that traces the origins of multiculturalism and argues that it is rooted in Marxism. It is a compelling read and argues (rightly in my opinion) that multiculturalism is an attempt to undermine both Christianity and capitalism.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Prospects for the Twins in 2006

Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune believes the Twins "must hope for a combination of luck, player development, free-agent overachievement and opponent lethargy," to do well this season.

The Twins have done little to improve the team from last year. They have added a good second baseman, but the other additions (Batista, White, and Sierra) are very speculative.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Marketing Rebellion

Jonah Goldberg has written a good essay on the fallacies of rap music--and specifically Kanye West at National Review. His main thesis transcends rap music, though, and shows that most popular music is simply rebellion, marketed to a ripe audience.

My favorite line is, "We hear so much about how kids today are cynical, skeptical, media-savvy, and so forth. But if they're buying this hooey, they're idiots."

Goldberg doesn't hold anything back--something I appreciate about all of his writing.

Prince Caspian for Christmas 2007

The Chronicles of Narnia sequel, Prince Caspian, will be ready for a Christmas 2007 release, according to E! Online.

HT: The Corner

Multiculturalism

There has been an interesting conversation on Woodchips and Text Musings after posts on White Guilt and Concessions of a White Man Who is Guilty of Privilege by Being Born White. There is now a new post with an extended definition of multiculturalism, its ideological roots, and how it opposes Christianity and cannot be embraced by Christians.

Christians are all too eager to embrace ideas that sound alluring, without critically evaluating the idea. We are told, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I too, would argue that multiculturalism cannot be integrated into the Christian worldview because by its very nature, it opposes our foundational beliefs as followers of Christ.