Blogroll

I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading.

Disclaimer: Reproducing an article here need not necessarily imply agreement or endorsement!

The seductive ‘love of power’ gives way to the ‘power of Love’. Ayn Rand v CS Lewis.

Anglican Ink - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 23:41

Its a mad, bad Randian world writes Gavin Ashenden

Bishop of Chester denounces US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

Anglican Ink - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 23:33

Trump decison "counter productive" says Dr. Peter Forster

Bishop Andy Lines on the NZ gay marriage synod vote

Anglican Ink - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 22:47

Gafcon UK offers support to FCA New Zealand after same sex blessings vote

Two Strippers Instead of Four

Blog & Mablog - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 22:41

And now let us speak of how National Review has finally donned some silk undies, and begun their regimen of hormone shots.

When I first subscribed to National Review I was in high school, which puts that time at almost fifty years ago. In other words, it was a lot closer to the time when WFB was standing athwart history yelling stop, than it was to the present, when apparently some of the editors are standing on the running boards of history, waving their hats and yelling go.

Comes now J.J. McCullough to urge conservatives to play the pliant accommodationist role—which we have gotten pretty good at, remember—which means realizing that transgenderism is here to stay. Glad that’s settled. What’d it take? Eighteen months? And that means in turn that we should return to our conservative roots, pick up the burden of our central animating principle, which appears to be that of doing everything we can to make their craziness not look so darn crazy.

The progs comes up with the cockamamie ideas, which promise to come a cropper, and then the conservatives move in with sleeves rolled up and the promise to make the screwball thing workable—appealing to that sense of modesty and decorum that enables conservatives to put up with a lot, and all while conserving almost nothing.

So when the progressives tell us that all enlightened parents should be chill with hiring 4 strippers for their kindergartner’s birthday party, and the parents react to this new chapter in the sexual revolution by kicking a little, by murmuring in that sotto voce hate-crimey sort of way, may we rely on National Review to have one of their online columnists weigh in with the advice that a Burkean solution could be to hire two strippers instead of four?

Now some might feel as though I have overstated my case. Did not David French, also on NRO, answer McCullough cogently? He sure did, and thereby lost the debate. Michael Brendan Dougherty also answered magnificently, just the way he ought to have, but also lost. No, neither he nor French lost because of any frailty in their arguments. No, the arguments themselves were not wearing silk undies.

They lost because this transgender lunacy is now officially an intramural debate among conservatives at National Review. But it is not the job of conservatives to salvage the previous Great Leap Forward.

The post Two Strippers Instead of Four appeared first on Blog & Mablog.

Categories: People I don't know

Lord Pearson heckled for reference to ‘good Muslims’

Christian Concern - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 17:12
Last week, Lord Pearson referred to ‘good Muslims’ in the House of Lords, by which he meant Muslims who adhere to the teachings of Islam. This came after an oral question to the government asking what assessment they have made about the rapidly increasing Muslim population and the increasing influence of sharia law in England. Lord Pearson was heckled in the normally restrained House of Lords for what he said. Tim Dieppe comments on the debate.

Last week, Lord Pearson referred to ‘good Muslims’ in the House of Lords, by which he meant Muslims who adhere to the teachings of Islam. This came after an oral question to the government asking what assessment they have made about the rapidly increasing Muslim population and the increasing influence of sharia law in England. Lord Pearson was heckled in the normally restrained House of Lords for what he said. Tim Dieppe comments on the debate.
 

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The Content Cluster Muster (05.10.18)

Blog & Mablog - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 17:00

Live-Stream NSA’s Graduation Ceremony

Join us this Thursday at the Church of the Nazarene to celebrate with the 2017-18 graduating class as they receive their diplomas! We will also be livestreaming on Facebook.https://t.co/akmsb3NqLt

— New Saint Andrews (@NewSaintAndrews) May 8, 2018

Now That’s a Photograph

More Open Road stuff here.

And I guess this isn’t too shabby a snap either…

Kilauea lava fissure – Hawaii pic.twitter.com/yNGTinHGJ2

— AtomicFact (@Atomicfact) May 9, 2018

Babylon Bee’s Editor Trolls Envangellyfish

Another Reasonable Hypothesis

Middle-Earth Rock Band

Middle-Earth Poetry

Can you finish the poem?

 

The post The Content Cluster Muster (05.10.18) appeared first on Blog & Mablog.

Categories: People I don't know

The history of property rights in Judeo-Christianity

Adam Smith Institute - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 16:47

Yesterday evening, we hosted the author and historian Benedikt Koehler who presented a whistle-stop tour through 2,500 years of thinking on property rights in Judeo-Christianity. John Locke’s contention that everyone has a right to own property now seems so obvious it is hard to imagine how it could ever have been contentious.

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 16.53.13.png

However, the opposite notion - that land was beyond the reach of private ownership - had been axiomatic from the beginnings of Judeo-Christianity and throughout most of the Middle Ages.

You can view the slides from Benedikt's lecture by clicking here, and listen to our Facebook Live recording here.

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Categories: Current Affairs

Cat & Dog Economics

Adam Smith Institute - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 16:23

Books, poems, films and theatre productions have been written and produced over many decades celebrating the unconditional devotion and affection that exists between dogs, cats and their owners: A Streetcat named Bob; Clare Balding’s delightful book My Animals and Other Family about her maternal bulldog Candy; and the incredible story from Australia of Sophie Tucker the castaway dog, to name but a few.

However far less has been recorded of the parallels to Human Health from owning a companion animal, in what is an effectively largely overlooked adjunct to Social Welfare.

Dr Leigh Plummer, A Sydney Clinical Psychologist has drawn on his experience working with people suffering from mental health issues to demonstrate how owning a cat or a dog can improve owners’ sense of self, from walking the dog, communicating with other dog owners in the park which can help those suffering depression and sense of isolation. 

Owning a cat can provide companionship in the home and alleviate loneliness especially for the elderly or infirm and the daily routine provided by feeding, cuddles, and stroking can make for a more rewarding life for many who live alone.

Remember the touching story of Billy the stray cat who brought the autistic 4 year old Fraser Booth out of his shell? An air of peace, happiness and calm returned to the Booth family home.

A compelling British published pamphlet “Companion Animal Economics: The Economic Impact of Companion Animals in the UK” says that readily available data collection for companion pets is poor in the UK as, up until now, there has been little requirement for statistical collating of pet ownership by Government. In contrast, Germany and Australia have already published studies on this fascinating Human-Animal bond.

A common theme in animal companionship literature is the anxiety- reducing effect that cats & dogs have (Lang et al., 2010, Berger & Grepperud 2011, Dietz at al, 2012). 

In 2007, 2.28 million people in the UK were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder which costs the economy £8.9 billion. By 2026 it is projected that 2.56 million anxiety related diagnoses will be made which will further cost approximately £14.2 billion (McCrone et al 2008).

Just half the people living with an anxiety disorder do not receive treatment which is associated with lost employment costs. The ability of companion animals to prevent and remediate symptoms of anxiety, independent of medical services, is exciting and worthy of further controlled investigations.

The study goes onto say how Australian companion animal owners from various demographics, made fewer visits to their doctors for minor ailments than non-owners (Headey 1995), furthermore, the same owners were reportedly less likely to be taking medication for heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleeping difficulties. 

One of the pioneering studies in the estimation of economic savings associated with companion animal ownership, Headey & Anderson (1995) attempted a preliminary estimate of possible government expenditure savings using data obtained from 1994 Australian National People & Pets Survey. 

The study arrived at a saving of AUS $1,183 million, equivalent to 5% of the total Australian health expenditure.

In 2013, the United Kingdom’s healthcare expenditure totalled £124 billion which then equalled 8% of GDP. 

In the same year, 63.5 million people lived in the UK in 26.4 million households, with 46% owning a cat or a dog (Murray et al 2015). The implication is around that 12.14 million main companion animal owners or 19.1% of UK population could be in better health than those without pets (80.9% of the population).

In 2008, Dog & Cat owners made on average 5.04 visits to the GP each year which equals 61.19 million (17.5%) visits vs 288.13 million visits (82.5%) by non-owners. Total average visits to the GP in 2008 was 5.5 p.a. (Hippisley-Cox & Vinogradova 2009). The suggestion is then, that should companion animals not exist, total UK healthcare could have been significantly higher at £126.45 billion. Government healthcare savings due to the presence of companion animals was estimated to be £2.45 billion.

Giving the ageing national population, the significance on this effect may be of increasing importance to governments and healthcare providers. Perhaps it's an area of worthy study – our dogs and cats are leaving us healthier and the country wealthier.
 

Categories: Current Affairs

Madsen Moment – Innovation

Adam Smith Institute - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 15:04

Once a week Dr Pirie takes to the camera to explain a concept to our social media channels. This week it's innovation and Madsen is explaining why we at the ASI have put it at the heart of our policies for the year

Categories: Current Affairs

Encounters: A Sikh in a Sauna

The Good Book Company - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 14:37

To celebrate the launch Terry Virgo’s new evangelistic resource, Life Tastes Better, we’re sharing a series of surprising evangelistic encounters in everyday situations. This is the first; it’s about our Creative Director, Tim, having a run in with a Sikh in a sauna…

 

“Where is God?” he said. He spoke to everyone, but to no-one in particular.

“You are a Christian—yes?” He was speaking to a woman sat next to me.

“Yes”, she replied in a thick Eastern European accent. “I am Catholic”.

“Then tell me where does God live?”

There was an awkward silence from the seven or so people sat broiling in the hot box.

...

Of all the places you least expect to be plunged into an evangelistic conversation, it’s in a Sauna.

At the gym I use, it’s normally pretty quiet. It’s enough to sweat in silence, the only question running through your mind: “how much longer can I stand the heat?”. It’s also pretty multicultural. Hungarians rub muscular shoulders with Polish, Romanians and Koreans. As a white British male, I’m in the minority. But I love that. It’s a friendly place, but the repeated and insistent questioning from the bearded older man had us all stunned with surprise.

I sat thinking what to answer, knowing that this was a “moment” that I could say something about the hope I have in Christ. Perhaps it was the heat, but I just got confused. Because it is actually a very complex question for a Trinitarian Christian believer to answer. Where actually is God? We know that he is omnipresent—he is everywhere. But when you break it down into the three persons, the answers are a little less clear.

We know Jesus is in heaven, pleading our cause before the Father and praying for us. I can only say that Jesus is in me, because he is in me in the person of his Holy Spirit. And the Spirit is at work everywhere in the world. We see the reality of that as people understand the word of God, respond to it, love one another, and serve Christ. These are the waving trees that show us the wind is blowing.

But where is the Father—in heaven with the Son, or everywhere in the world. I needed a waterproof/heatproof copy of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology at that moment, but didn’t have one to hand.

“He’s in my heart” chirped the woman beside me.

“God is everywhere and in heaven” responded the man, who I presumed to be a Sikh.

He then stood up and marched out. Leaving us all sat in stunned silence.

We had a short embarrassed conversation about how weird that was. I stumbled over a few words about the difficulty of the question, but was not sure that they were ready to understand the finer points of the trinitarian theology.

I was left with two profound thoughts that I will share with you:

  1. Be prepared. Any time, any place, any where. A door will open. Sometimes it will be weird. It won’t be on the subject you want to talk about. It may be scary or confusing. But be prepared to own up to being a believer, and share something — even if it’s your own ignorance of the answer. That’s better than saying nothing.

  2. It’s not just Christians who do embarrassing evangelism. I don’t know what he was thinking, or why he said what he did. I assume he felt the burden to talk about faith in God and blurted out his question in the wrong place, in the wrong way, with the wrong crowd. I don’t want to do evangelism like that — but I’ve got to work at ways to raise the subject in natural, friendly and relational ways.

How would you answer that question?

Life Tastes Better is a great book to give away to non-believing friends (or fellow gym goers). It reveals the surprising truth that life with Jesus really does taste better than anything the world can offer us. Read it as a Christian to prepare yourself for evangelistic conversations and have a copy of it ready to give away. Available to buy now

Categories: Christian Resources

Abortion and the Horde

Peter Leithart - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 13:00
In a discussion of the Ten Words (Systematic Theology, II) argues that the “second table” applies to all polities. I have doubts about the “second table” notion, and also about the plausibility of separating the last six words from the first four. Still, Jenson has some penetrating things to say about the “second table” as […]
Categories: People I don't know

Image and Icon

Peter Leithart - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 12:00
Israel’s sanctuaries were dramatically different from those of other nations. There was no image of Yahweh. The priests maintained Yahweh’s house, but His presence was either invisible or so intense that it was unapproachable. The aniconic worship of Israel was a standing reminder that their God is a different sort of God. What does that […]
Categories: People I don't know

Imunify360 3.1.5 is here

CloudLinux - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 07:29

We are pleased to announce that a new updated Imunify360 version 3.1.5 is now available. This latest version embodies further improvements of the product.

Changelog:

  • DEF-5079: prevented migrations from failing with OOM.

To install a new Imunify360 version 3.1.5, please follow the instructions in the documentation.

To upgrade Imunify360 run the command:

yum update imunify360-firewall

Upgrade is available since Imunify360 version 2.0-19 and later.

More information on Imunify360 can be found here.

Categories: Technology

Of all the silly ideas about climate change

Adam Smith Institute - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 07:01

There's a good reason why all the economists looking at climate change insist that there should not be detailed plans for this and that to do with the subject. Assuming that something must be done stick the one crowbar into the price system and allow those markets, that calculating machine of the economy, to do the detailed work.

Do not, just do not, try to make those little plans for each nook and cranny. Like, for example, do not try to have industry or sector specific carbon allowances

A radical way to cut emissions – ration everyone’s flights

Sonia Sodha

No, really, just no.

Instead we should look to carbon trading schemes for inspiration. In schemes running in the EU and some areas of the US, international organisations or governments sign up to a total limit on carbon emissions. They then issue companies with permits that allow them to emit a certain amount of carbon. It’s then up to the companies to trade the permits. Companies that want to emit more can buy permits from those that manage to reduce their carbon emissions.

We could develop a similar system for flights. Everyone could be given an air mile allowance – say enough for one long-haul return flight a year, or three short-haul flights, so people with families on the other side of the world could see them once a year. If you don’t want to use your allowance, you could sell it off in a government-regulated online marketplace. If you’re keen to do a holiday a month, you’ll have to buy your allowance from someone else.

The reason being that there's nothing specific about emissions from airplanes - or any other source. They're all the same gas, it all has the same effect - whatever that is. Thus we want to be as rich as we can within whatever the limit we allow ourselves.

Which means using that that economists' favourite, substitution. We don't want to limit emissions from farming, from aviation, from land transport, shipping, per se. Whatever the limitation is we want to limit all such - meaning that we're not just happy but overjoyed if emissions in one sector go up as those in another go down. Say, just imagine, that a fully loaded car has fewer emissions on a journey than a train - true for small cars properly full of people. Our desired output is that people get there with the fewest emissions - we'd thus be happy with rising car emissions and falling train ones to get that task done.

Or to adapt Adam Smith, the transport emissions from taking Bourdeaux to Scotland are lower than the local emissions of trying to grow the wine north of the Tay. We would be happy with such substitution as we'd still gain the booze and also lower emissions.

Thus we don't want industry or sector specific schemes - we want substitution across sectors as well as within them.

Whatever views on climate change itself it's still important that we stamp on delusions like this one proffered. We're looking for the greatest human utility within whatever the limits are. That means we cannot impose strictures just on the one activity, whatever it is that is done must allow for substitution across sectors and activities. 

Categories: Current Affairs

Pounding George Pell in the press

Anglican Ink - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 02:57

The cardinal takes a hit from the Gray Lady

Australian bishops' "secret" marriage agreement published

Anglican Ink - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 02:43

It is clear from the document that any bishop wishing to push ahead in any way with affirmation of same-sex marriage will be in a obvious breach of this agreement.

Clergy lead Sri Lanka May Day parade

Anglican Ink - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 02:17

Workers Christian Fellowship seeks to meld Christianity, Marxism and Buddhism

Okoh urges Nigeria quit the Commonwealth

Anglican Ink - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 01:32

Welby says the Commonwealth is "blessing to the world"

The Episcopal Church and trial [use] marriage

Anglican Ink - Thu, 10/05/2018 - 00:50

The first of four essays by Prof. Stephen Noll on the Episcopal Church's proposed changes to the marriage rite

A prayer for the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Anglican Ink - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 23:48

The following prayer has been published by the Church of England ahead of the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle 

God of love,

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