March 28, 2010

Damn, I Missed Earth Hour AGAIN!

Moved back to the top from last year, to save the energy it takes to write something witty.

Let There be Light!

When I got home Friday evening the lady that lets me live with her asked if we were going to turn off the lights for Earth Hour. I had to say, and pardon the pun here, I was in the dark about the whole Earth Hour phenomena. But I can say that about most inane attempts at enlightenment by social consciousness groups with way too much time on their hands.

So in my typical knee jerk reaction I replied,"Hell no I'm not turning the lights off in fact I'm going to turn on every light I own and if I had a spotlight I would shine it into the lens of the Google Earth satellite. It would be so bright in my little corner of Iowa that Google would need to wear shades. I want to show that we are the light of the world and under no circumstances would I imitate the places on Gods green Earth that are only filled with dark matter!"

Fortunately there are those out there that express those same sentiments but in a more rational style. From The Competitive Enterprise Institute:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute plans to recognize “Human Achievement Hour” between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on March 28, 2009 to coincide with Earth Hour, a period of time during which governments, individuals, and corporations have agreed to dim or shut off lights in an effort to draw attention to climate change. Anyone not foregoing the use of electricity in that hour is, by default, celebrating the achievements of human beings. We salute the people who keep the lights on and produce the energy that helps make human achievement possible.

March 26, 2010

A Challenge to America, "Try to stop us."

The numbers above are pretty stunning, indicating that all is not well in Hopenchangeland. The 33% that favor Obamacare is only slightly more than those that self -identify as liberal or very liberal. Nearly half of all democrats reject the legislation. In normal times numbers like those would have politicians racing to placate the public’s fears. These obviously are not normal times.

We have seen normally gutless pols falling on their swords. We have seen political leaders, not try to assure, but rather taunt an outraged public. The display of the Speaker of the House, brandishing an oversize gavel, marching a contingent of legislators through the crowd of protesters was nothing less than a message. “Try to stop us.”

Yesterday in Iowa City the president said, “This is the reform that some folks in Washington are still hollering about. And now that it’s passed, they’re already promising to repeal it. They’re actually going to run on a platform of repeal in November. Well I say go for it!” He is sending the same message “I dare you, try to stop us."

They actually went on the offensive yesterday with claims that the right is threatening legislators and therefore the democratic system. I find it ironic that the party that threatened to usurp the democratic process while taking over the health, auto, and banking industries is now claiming to be the defender of democracy. In any event this tactic is designed to delegitimize the opposition and prep the field for future operations. "This is the moral equivalent of war, try to stop us."

The message is clear. The socialist reorientation of American society is under way. If you didn’t see this coming before last Sunday it should be clear now. The revolution has begun, the republic is under attack, and the socialists have thrown down the gauntlet. “Try to stop us.”

Flotsam and Jetsam: More Notable Quotables

Socialism by Any Other Name is Still Socialism:

“This is also an income shift, it’s a shift, it’s a leveling to help lower income middle income Americans. Too often, much of late, the last couple three years the mal-distribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind. Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America. This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America… Because healthcare is now a right of all Americans." Senator Max Baucus (SP- MT)

Senility, the Last Refuge of Idiots:
"Well I goofed. What I meant to say was control the agencies that are writing the legislation so that it will deal fairly with the people’s concerns. Frankly I goofed." Senator John Dingle-berry (SP- MI) Clarifying his "control the people" remark.

March 24, 2010

Missed the Boat in Iowa City

I sat huddled by the phone praying for an invitation. A chance to glimpse, to hear the voice of ... The One. I realized of course that I, a lowly serf bereft of donor list status, had nary a chance of being selected. Yet still I prayed. But alas poor Yourik, for want of an arena befitting a King instead of the lowly Iowa Fieldhouse, where a mere 3000 apparatchiks errrr citizens could assemble, I shall miss the chance to humble myself before his greatness. Oh the humanity!...

The Spin from Politico:

They still love him in Iowa. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announces on Twitter ahead of President Obama's trip there Thursday: "For Iowa City 16,500 people have signed up online for tix - the Field House holds about 3,000...We're going to need a bigger boat!"
They could have used the 15,500 seat Carver- Hawkeye Arena but using the bigger boat makes it harder to weed out the undesirables.

Still love him? Maybe not so much.

Obama’s approval has slipped steadily in Iowa since he carried the state in 2008 and after winning its lead off Democratic nominating caucuses that year.

Obama’s job approval in February was 46 percent in The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll. Approval of the president’s handling of health care reform was in worse shape, with 33 percent approving of his effort and a majority — 58 percent — disapproving.

Flotsam and Jetsam: Notable Quotables

Stating the Obvious: “First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama,” Al Sharpton

Cat Escapes Bag: "The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 (million) American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people." Congressman John Dingle (SP- MI)

Overheard on Fox News Watch: "Sean Penn is the product of the usual Hollywood disease, the delusion that star power gives them adequate mental capacity to live life much less to make political judgments."

March 23, 2010

Leave it to the Beaver

Obama Coming to Iowa City

The first stop on the Presidential Image Rehabilitation tour stops in Iowa's most liberal city to explain to the masses how great healthcare reform will be for them and theirs. I for one am giddy with excitement.

There is an on line application process to get tickets to this shindig so I will be surprised if I will be allowed within a mile of the University Field House on Thursday. In any event I will be in Iowa City for the festivities.

Up Next, Education Reform

Two weeks ago I attended an informational forum with Senator Tom Harkin, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Congressman Dave Loebsack and assorted local education types. The message, “Education reform is coming.”

Phase one was the takeover of the college loan market that was attached to healthcare bill without debate. The next phase includes a revamped No Child Left (NCLB) behind and an updating of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

There is no doubt that NCLB has been a disaster, and Duncan seemed in tune with those failings and seemed serious about refocusing priorities to deal with them. But the group was short on specifics and long on rhetoric specifically the vision of “education from cradle to career”, which was repeated several times by Harkin and Duncan in the course of their remarks.

According to Harkin parents can expect children to enter the school system at earlier ages, days will be longer, school years will be extended, and school facilities will become community centers for students and parents. According to the just released Blueprint for Reform there will also be renewed emphasis on things like music, physical education, history, and civics.

Unlike healthcare don’t expect to see much angst generated by education reform even though the impact can have far reaching social ramifications.

Update 11:00AM : Ed. Sec Duncan is just another Chicago Style Pol. Color me stunned! "Obama’s SecEd manipulated school lists to favor powerful:

While many Chicago parents took formal routes to land their children in the best schools, the well-connected also sought help through a shadowy appeals system created in recent years under former schools chief Arne Duncan.

Whispers have long swirled that some children get spots in the city’s premier schools based on whom their parents know. But a list maintained over several years in Duncan’s office and obtained by the Tribune lends further evidence to those charges. Duncan is now secretary of education under President Barack Obama.

The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncan’s tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley’s office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogersand former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun…

America Rising

Via Powerline

March 22, 2010

Enter Leviathan

The passage of healthcare last evening marked a victory for the Liberal's Leviathan project which began in 1932. We are now living in the realm where all powerful public servants will see to your wants, needs, and desires while protecting you from the dangers of the world, some real, but most imagined.

Leviathan exists because there are some that go through life in a perpetual state of fear that at any moment they might slip into what Jack London called the Social Pit. As we have seen there are also those that will exploit those fears; fear that you might get sick, fear that you may experience a financial setback, or God forbid the fear that you may spend your days wearing your dead sister’s teeth. When you are playing on fear you arguments can soar to the peak of absurdity.

This is a sorry way to go through life, it is certainly antithetical to everything American. If our forefathers had adopted this model we would still be a string of village’s huddled along the Atlantic coast struggling for survival. But they didn't because our forefathers knew tyranny first hand but more importantly that had learned through 200 years of benign neglect that the only way to ensure that life was not “nasty, brutish, and short” was to give the individual the freedom to seek his own path, experience his own victories or failures, in short to live his own life.

Living by those basic tenets has been dying by degrees; last night may have been the death quiver. Welcome to Leviathan.

March 19, 2010

Iditarod XXXVIII Wrap Up

Lance Mackey Makes It Four in a Row

"He could take your dogs and beat his team with your dogs. That's how good of a musher he is." Musher Hugh Neff comments on Lance Mackey.

IDITAROD XXXVIII Musher Lance Mackey (Bib # 49) arrived in Nome Alaska at 2:59 pm Alaska Time with 11 dogs, and is the first musher in Iditarod Race history to win four back to back Iditarod Championships. Mackey gave all the credit to his team and his leaders… especially his three year old female Maple (last year’s Golden Harness winner).

Mackey’s team made it to Nome in 8 days, 23 Hours, 59 Minutes, 9 Seconds making him the second musher to ever eclipse the 9 day barrier. 4 time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser still holds the record.

But no one has ever accomplished what the incredible Lance Mackey has; win 4 straight Iditarod Championships. Mackey did say that he thinks he’s up for a fifth in 2011.
Lance Mackey has been the Ironman of mushing the last five years. Winning four straight Iditarods, while also winning four Yukon Quest races. Unheard of performance.

I have a feeling if history is any indication that the Mackey era may be drawing to a close. In 38 Iditarods there have only been 16 men and two women made it to the winners circle. Only seven of those have ever one it more than once, and only Rick Swenson has ever done it five times. In every case the mushers that have won four put together a short lived dynasty.

Part of it I think is the tremendous amount of dedication, hard work and money it takes to make it to the starting line every year which makes it difficult to maintain winning performance for more than a few years. Part of it has to be the physical toll. It takes years to raise and train a winning team, learn the trail, and how to operate efficiently in bitter cold with little sleep. I imagine that it takes more than a few years off you when you race at the level. Mackey may be different but we'll see.

We spend a lot of time every year focusing on those that are battling at the front of the pack because that is where the action is. Its easy to forget however that for every famous musher there are dozens of hearty men and women that make the the trek to Nome for no other reason than the love of adventure and the love of the dogs. Some of them may go on to build a mushing dynasty but most just want to live the Iditarod dream.
Views From the Trial

Mackey in the Winners Circle

Former Champion Dick Mackey meets his son in Nome.

Landing at Lake Hood, Anchorage. The trail from the air.

Mackey in Elim.


Too Cute!

Crossing the Norton Bay Ice.

March 16, 2010

Iditarod XXXVIII

Good Morning Race Fans.

While we were all snuggled in our comfy warm beds, Lance Mackey checked into the White Mountain checkpoint at 20:14 AST last night and is back on the trail this morning. He will take a mandatory 8 hour layover in Safety and should arrive in Nome sometime late this afternoon.

Update 4:00 CST:

I'm bad, the mushers stop in White Mountain for the final mandatory rest stop not Safey. The leaders are now back on the trail for the final dash to Nome. Expect about a 6pm finish.

From Iditarod. Com

This has been an epic race with epic dog teams and the final chapter is about to be written here along the Bering sea coast. This is a vast open landscape with rolling hills, open tundra and an endless horizon of sea ice.

The lead teams at this point are all in White Mountain and Lance Mackey has just headed out on this final stretch to Nome. All the dogs in the front 3 teams ate well here and all the mushers were exceedingly sleepy.

Both Lance and his team seemed revived after their 8 hour rest and the others most
likely will be too. Although this is Lance’s race to lose at this point, the race isn’t over until the lead dog reaches the finish line. Many Iditarods have been won and lost along this last 77 miles of trail. Lance’s Dad, Dick Mackey took the lead to win his 1978 championship along this section.

Rick Swenson has taken over the lead a number of times along this section of trail as well. I don’t expect Lance to falter in this run but as the saying goes, it isn’t over until it’s over.

Lance was greeted in White Mountain by his father Dick Mackey as a little bonus to his run.

March 15, 2010

Iditarod XXXVIII

Imagine my surprise this morning as I pulled up the Iditarod GPS Tracker and found that Jeff King and Hans Gatt had pulled into an 8 mile lead over Lance Mackey. Mackey's flag was planted in the Koyuk checkpoint while King and Gatt were already down the coast toward Nome. What made it frustrating is that the GPS system has times where it may not update a mushers position for long periods and Mackeys time was an hour old.

Then the Tracker updated and Kings mileage decreased. How could this be, is he lost out on the ice of Norton Sound and is he now backtracking? A few more updates and I realized that despite the red line on the map the trail actually veers toward the west and intersects the outbound trail from Koyuk making it appear that racers are farther down the trail than they actually are. I'm guessing that the system tracks a mushers position in relation to the imaginary trail rather than actual miles traveled. It just shows the limitations of 21st century technology when coupled with 10th century modes of transportation.

In any event, now that the ITC has finally updated the leaderboard Mackey arrived in Koyuk at 02:48 AST followed by King at 04:02. Unless he gets lost in the last hundred and seventy miles Mackey is on track for his fourth consecutive win and a special chapter in Iditarod history.
Views from the Trail

Temperature -22 wind 25 knots. Brrrr

The Unakaleet moonscape

Mackey with the look of Iditarod exhaustion

King pulls out onto the ice of Norton Sound in Shaktoolik

March 14, 2010

Iditarod XXXVIII

Lance Mackey arrived on the Bering Sea coast at 03:30 AST after a 14 hour run between Kaltag and Unalakleet. He received $2500 in gold nuggets for his effort. The rest of the pack is still two to three hours behind him but the Coast is a whole new ballgame. Cold (-27 today) and unrelenting winds have shut down many a team as they make their way up the coast to Shaktoolik.

Update Sunday 07:00 AST: King pulled into Unalakleet at 06:30 AST passing Hans Gatt along the way and posting an identical 14 hour time across the Kaltag Portage. This is shaping up to be a duel unless one of them can break away along the coast. I look for Mackey to hit the trail again quickly now that King is in town.
A Salmon Hat Tip to the volunteers of the Iditarod Airforce.

From Iditarod
Our 31 volunteer pilots collectively bring 743 years and 420,000 hours of flying experience to the table. These credentials speak highly of a dedicated group of pilots that are about to make a lot of things happen.

We will move over 537 dropped and scratched dogs back to Anchorage or one of the

Move over 124,822 lbs of dog food to nourish our athletes

Move 391 bales of straw/hay, enough for each team to have fresh straw at every checkpoint.

Move 5100 lathes to remote checkpoints for the trail breaks to mark the trail.

Distribute 1135 cases of Heet.

Fly 45 veterinarians that monitor the athletes before, during and after the race to insure there well being. Move 44 communications volunteers and all their equipment to and from checkpoints.

We also moved 101 race judges, Director of Competition and logistics, photographers, insider personnel and dog handlers continually up the trail who support the race


"Somebody find the key and we'll fly to Nome!"

Beck's War Against the Progressives

I admire the work that Glen Beck is doing in educating his viewers about the philosophical basis of our Republic, it often seems like he is leading a Great Awakening in American political participation. There are times however when I cringe at Becks characterizations such as his recent attacks on early 20th century Progressives in general and President Teddy Roosevelt in particular.

To put the Progressive Era into historical context; it was a time of turbulent social and economic change in America. New immigrants were flooding into the county from eastern and southern Europe, immigrants who were ethnically and politically different than those that arrived in earlier generations. The Second Industrial Revolution, driven by scientific and technical advancements, combined with this new overabundant supply of unskilled labor transformed the relationship between workers and management. Added to this mix of ethnic and economic tension was a shift in the racial makeup of the northern industrial states as large numbers of blacks moved north in search of economic and political freedom.

Taken together you have a crucible in the United State and out of this crucible poured the problems of urbanization, poverty, and open and often deadly conflict between business and workers. Life under these conditions could be "nasty, brutish, and short" as incidents such as the Triangle Shirtwaist fire or the Ludlow (Colorado) Massacre illustrate.

Workers existed in an environment where they had little control and less protections. Whenever people are oppressed and their survival is threatened there is inevitably a response, Beck and the Tea Party movement today is just such a response. In the 1900’s these responses took the form of a myriad of ideologies whose purpose was to ameliorate the adverse effects of industrialization.

It may seem that I am splitting hairs here but progressives in the truest sense were mainly educated women of the middle and upper class’ that joined with the working class to improve conditions and expand liberties. While some identified themselves as having socialist leanings they believed in incremental change and didn’t necessarily believe that you had to upend the status quo to achieve it.

In Roosevelt’s defense he ran on the Progressive Party ticket more for political expedience than for a radical transformation of America. When Roosevelt was given a copy of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” he wasn’t swayed into interfering in the relationship between capital and labor but he did think that the meat industry should make a product free of rats and feces. I doubt that even Beck would argue against the governments role in insuring a safe food supply.

The mistake that Beck makes in equating those Progressives with today’s so called Progressives is what historians call presentism. He is applying present day standards to historical narratives. In reality the Unions, the Socialist Party, and other radical groups that couldn't gain political traction didn’t just fade away they co-opted the name and morphed into the so called Progressives of today. Of course you can still find remnants of those groups but they have little influence outside of the Democratic Party.

Perhaps Beck can work to expose who these people really are and explain that the Progressives of today are not your Great Grandparents Progressives.

March 13, 2010

Iditarod Update

Above, a view of from the Iditarod Insider GPS Tracker. Click to enlarge.

After chasing Jeff King down the Yukon from Ruby to Kaltag Rick Mackey has made his move and pushed through the Kaltag checkpoint without a rest, leaving King behind for the first time in this race. But it might not be King that Mackey is most concerned about as he was followed closely by 3 time Yukon Quest champ Canadian Hans Gatt.

A quick check of the stats shows that Gatt has posted the fastest times between the Yukon River checkpoints. Mackey may be running for his life while Jeff King who opted to rest in Kaltag may have ceded that point to Gatt.

Let the real race begin!

Harkin In Cedar Rapids

I know this is short notice.

Iowa Senator Tom "healthcare is segregation" Harkin will be at Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids on Sunday with Education Secretary Arne Duncun.

This may be the last opportunity to let the good senator know how you feel about the take over of healthcare before they move on to the federal takeover of education.

Iditarod XXXVIII

I have really been remiss in Iditiarod posting but it has been a busy week here at Casa de Salmon....

The leaders are now streaking down the Yukon River with Jeff King in the lead followed closely by Lance Mackey and a pack of 5 or 6 contenders. King was careful not to be fooled this year. Last year after telling King he was going to take a nap Mackey snuck out of Ruby to take the lead while King was sleeping. The question now is, can King keep his narrow lead?

From ADN

Jeff King led the Iditarod pack out of Galena at 8:47 p.m. Friday, taking a 1 hour, 28 minute lead over two-time defending champion Lance Mackey. (ADN error, Mackey is a three time defending champ)

King raced down the Yukon River on Friday afternoon, trying to turn the 38th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race into a game of "catch me if you can."

Views from the Trail

On the Yukon River
Its all fun and games till someone runs into a tree
Somebody is going the wrong way.

March 08, 2010

Iditarod XXXVIII: Day One in Pictures

The Sunday Restart in Wasilla

Alaska Sweetheart, Dee Dee Jonrowe
Defending Champ Lance Mackey

All the way from Jamaica mon, Newton Marshall

Not sure who the Arctic Foxes are but Haliburton is a sponsor.

Going high tech.
Each racer is carrying a GPS tracking device, which allows you to go on line and follow the race in real time. It shows each mushers position, current speed and distance traveled. It is really pretty cool except there is a $35 fee for the service by becoming an Iditarod Insider at The woman that lets me live with her surprised me with the subscription yesterday, I'm sure she has something up her sleeve.


1. You know its a test day when the class is packed and there are multiple people you have never seen before.

2. How birds can shit white on black cars and shit black on white cars is beyond me.

3. I wonder how scary it would be to see the total amount of money I've spent on things I can no longer remember doing.

4. Assholes are assholes because they don't know they are assholes. My new goal in life is to rectify this situation.

5. There is a bar opening up in the lobby of my office building. I'm not sure if it will be the best or worst thing to ever happen to me.

6. Professor, Once one person starts to pack up you should just give up and end class, You've now lost any and all attention you previously had.

7. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day. (or maybe the rest of your life)

8. I hate the moms and dads who start going back to college again and take it very seriously and make the rest of us normal people in class look like slackers. OK old dude we get it, you read the entire fucking chapter. Now, shut the fuck up.

From Rumnations

March 07, 2010


From the NYT. Why Do Sled Dogs Run?

I listen to the one-way singsong between Murphy and his dogs, encouragement and caution and admiration. I watch the driving legs ahead of me — 28 of them — on dogs whose frames are small and light, nothing like the creatures I’d imagined. And as we cut through the white ash swamp, hissing across the ice, I find myself wondering, why do sled dogs run?

It is not a matter of driving them. All the work is in pacing them, restraining them. When Murphy stands on the brake and sets the snow hook — a two-pronged anchor — the gangline quivers with tension. The dogs torque forward again before he can shout, “Let’s go!” All the one-word answers to my question are too simple: love, joy, duty, obedience.

Message from Sarah Palin Video


Trail Map
Mark Steyn on Healthcare

...Why let "health" "care" "reform" stagger on like the rotting husk in a low-grade creature feature who refuses to stay dead no matter how many stakes you pound through his chest?

Because it's worth it. Big time. I've been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible. In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally "conservative" parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect (Let's not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a "conservative"). The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on

Look at it from the Dems' point of view. You pass Obamacare. You lose the 2010 election, which gives the GOP co-ownership of an awkward couple of years. And you come back in 2012 to find your health care apparatus is still in place, a fetid behemoth of toxic pustules oozing all over the basement, and, simply through the natural processes of government, already bigger and more expensive and more bureaucratic than it was when you passed it two years earlier. That's a huge prize, and well worth a midterm timeout.

So this begs the question, even if healthcare should happen to fail, how do you unwind the entrenched socialist apparatus that is already in place?

The Republicans are complicit in a large part of this problem and while the Tea Party movement has its heart is in the right place demanding loyalty oaths from Republicans it does nothing to marginalize the leftists in the democratic party and, as Steyn points out, the Federal bureaucracy.

The flip side to this is of course the entitlement problem, and I am not refering to the fact that the cost of Social Security, Medicare, Medicade and the rest threatens to bankrupt the county. I'm talking about the fact that a large proportion of the population feels it is entitled to what ever freebees are being handed out with no thought to where the money comes from. For example it took less than 8 hours for the the state of Iowa handed out $2.7 million dollars in $200 vouchers for new appliances this week in its Cash for Refrigerators program.

That mindset may be harder to change than averting governments drift toward socialism. Unless someone comes up with a good 12 step program for greed, sloth, and gluttony reform can't be done.

March 06, 2010

Lets Get Ready to Rumble!

Iditarod 38 got started today and for the next two weeks the Salmon will be in dog heaven as 71 tough and hearty mushers head out under the northern lights where the Arctic winds do wail vying to be the first to pass under the burled arch in N0me.

Can Lance Mackey continue his reign and make it four in a row? Or will perennial Salmon favorite Rick Swenson add a sixth win to his record? Does four time champ Jeff King have what it takes to make it to Nome and reclaim the $5o grand he donated to the financially strapped Iditarod Trail Committe? Will PETA just STFU? These questions and many more can only be answered on the trail to Nome.

Good Luck Mushers!

March 05, 2010

From the Salmon Library

Editors note: I added an Amazon widge-gidget to the sidebar and as I rotate out the old selections for the new I would like to briefly comment on those selections from The Salmon Library.

“Patience with God” by Frank Schaeffer

This book was a Christmas gift lovingly pilfered from my Amazon wish list. It found its way onto the list when I was searching for insights into the New Atheist movement. Had it not been for the wife I’m not sure I would have ever purchased it. That said….

A reader hoping to gain insight into atheism or religion for that matter will find that this work will not do much to enlighten. The first half of the book is a screed directed at atheism and organized religion alike and those that the author sees profiteering from it; the Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Rick Warrens of the world.

The second half is part memoir part spiritual journey. Under the direction of his parents he was a once a famous child evangelical who at one point fell away from the evangelical life, Where he landed is somewhere he calls the “Church of Hopeful Uncertainly.”

I was left with the impression that Schaeffer believes, like Soren Kierkegaard which he quotes throughout, “that the human race has outgrown Christianity.” In which case I fail to see how he is much different than those that he spent half a book berating.

UPDATE: Our friend at KingShamus found a recent video of Frank Schaeffer.

“Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton

In this classic Catholic apologia Chesterton makes a reasoned case for Christian faith. Not from the view of religion but from the view of a man in search of religion. In fact he begins with the story of a yachtsman that sets sail and because of a series of miscalculations unwittingly finds himself back where he began delighted in his accomplishment and amazed at the things he discovers there.

Along the way Chesterton dismantles the dominate ideologies of his day, equating those that are unable to believe as nothing more than inmates in the asylum. He also shows how it is the paradoxes of religion that non believers find so troubling that are at the core of truth. Truth summed up in the Apostles Creed.

It is not a book for the faint of heart as his rhapsodic and metaphorical style takes more than a few reads to unravel. It was however a challenging but fruitful read and I believe that if catechism class had been as enlightening many a Catholic would not have had to take the same voyage as Chesterton.

“Patriots” by James Wesley Rawles

Rawle’s operates one of the internet’s most popular survival web sites and this book is part novel about the end of the world as we know it and part handbook for would be survivalists.

In this book economic collapse leads to the total collapse of civil society. Fortunately for the main characters they had spent several years preparing for just such a calamity by stocking up on guns, bullets, and beans while honing their military skills and acquiring a northwest redoubt where they could sit out the catastrophe.

Like most books of this genre there is inevitably a faceoff between the survivors and the tyrannical government trying to retake control of the country. As expected truth justice and the American way once again prevails. This book was an enjoyable change of pace in these uncertain times.