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Showing posts from September, 2008

Global Cooling

I have been a skeptic of the whole global warming thing. Not so much a skeptic of whether the earth is getting warming. There seems to be a bit of evidence that things warmed up a tad during the 90's.

Rather, my skepticism concerns the causes (I doubt it's principally man-made), and the alleged disastrous results if the earth's temperature should rise a few degrees.

Al Gore, of course, has had no such doubts on either point. He is so convinced, that he is encouraging young people to engage in civil disobedience in the cause of global warming.

But is the earth really getting warmer?
Scientists involved in NASA's Ulysses project reported that the intensity of the sun's solar wind was at its lowest point since the beginning of the space age — one more indication that the sun, the biggest source of energy affecting the Earth, is getting quiet. The weaker solar wind appears to be due to changes in the sun's magnetic field, but the cause is unknown. Sunspots, which norma…

More Good Sense from Ron Paul

Check out Ron Paul's perspective on the president's proposed bailout on Youtube before and after yesterday's vote.

The Current Financial Crisis

The only major party presidential candidate who understands both the problem and the solution to our current economic crisis is Ron Paul. Either that or he's the only one with guts enough to talk about it. You can find Paul's analysis of the situation here.

For a really good introduction to economics in general, read Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy. In fact, read anything and everything you can get your hands on by Sowell. In my opinion, he's one of the most insightful thinkers of our day. You can read his weekly column here.

Another fine introduction to economics is Henry Hazlitt's, Economics in One Lesson. It's become a classic.

Murray Rothbard's What Has the Government Done to Our Moneyis good at explaining how monetary policy affects the value of the dollar, especially the effect of removing the dollar off the gold standard.

For a distinctively Christian approach to these subjects, try R. C. Sproul Jr.'s Biblical Ec…

Another PC Myth Exploded

All cultures are equal, right? And we shouldn’t judge cultures that differ from us? This is what we are constantly told by the relativistic forces of multiculturalism. All cultures are equal. We who live in the West shouldn't think that our once Christian culture was any better than any other.

Bernal Diaz might wish to disagree. In his telling the story of the conquest of Mexico, he frequently refers to the widespread practice of human sacrifice and cannibalism among the Indians in all the places they traveled, and makes no apology for taking measures to put a stop to it. Each paragraph below refers to a different place in their travels. And this is just a small sampling of passages that could be cited.

Juan de Grijalva with many of us soldiers landed to inspect this island, for we saw smoke rising from it. We found two stone buildings of good workmanship, each with a flight of steps leading up to a kind of altar, and on those altars were evil-looking idols, which were their gods. H…

All God's Creatures Have Fun 2

A dancing sea lion...whod'a thunk? Check it out here.

A Curious Prophecy

One of the really interesting things that Diaz mentions (several times) about the Spanish conquest of Mexico was the fact that all the Indian tribes held to a belief in a prophecy passed down to them from their ancestors that men with beards would come across the sea from the direction of the sunrise and rule over them. Where did this prophecy come from? Had there been a prior and long-forgotten contact with Europeans that served as the basis for this “prophecy”? Was it a legitimate prophecy, in that God really did speak through one of the pagan Indian prophets, as he did similarly through the pagan Balaam (Num. 22-24)? Or was it a faked prophecy of one of the pagan priests that God was pleased to use for his own purposes? Curious. Really curious.

PC Myth Exploded

In my last post I mentioned that I’ve been reading The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz, who marched with Cortes in the conquest of the Aztec Empire. It’s amazing just how different a first hand account of it is from the politically correct version that we generally hear today. According to the politically correct version, the Spanish were after gold, pure and simple. And they would let nothing stand in their way of acquiring it, not even the rights and lives of the Indians. The Spanish conquest was one of rape, pillage, plunder, and slavery--and all in the name of God and for the sake of gold.

Were there brutal, unscrupulous conquistadors, whose motives were lust and greed? No doubt there were. But to characterize the whole process of exploration, colonization, and conquest as if this is all it was, or even what it principally was, is clearly false. Worse, it's a slander of many good men.

Bernal Diaz came to the New World in 1514, settling for a time in Tierra Firme (present da…

Bernal Diaz and the Conquest of New Spain

One of the surest ways to turn students off when it comes to having them learn history is to have them read a history textbook. Textbooks all generally suffer from the same fatal flaw. They are written by committee. Hardly anything is more likely to guarantee a student’s boredom. A dry listing of names and dates. A detached recounting of events. An unappealing telling of the story.

This is why in my history classes we don’t rely much on textbooks, and the ones we do use are not written by committee.

What I like to use—not only because it’s far more accurate, but also because it’s far more interesting—are original sources. So, since this year we are studying the Age of Exploration to the present, one of the works we are reading is Bernal Diaz’ The Conquest of New Spain. Diaz was one of the soldiers who fought under Hernando Cortes in the conquest of Mexico. He wrote a fascinating first hand, eye-witness account that is an absolute pleasure to read. Historians generally regard it as being…

I'm Baaack!

For good or ill...I'm back online and ready to blog!