Best Reads for 3/24 – 3/30/2014
The best man of the Week:
No, the Duke coach isn’t lost in the Mercer locker room, and he’s not there to pick a fight. Being a Tarheel fan it’s not easy to root for Coach Krzyzewski. Duke, a 3 seed in the NCAA tournament lost their first game to a 14 seed, Mercer. I don’t imagine many people had Mercer beating Duke on their brackets. For any true competitive person loosing is never easy. But rather than make an excuse or rant about officials, Coach Krzyzewski went over to the Mercer locker room to give them props for beating his team. I want that kind of a coach for my kids. You can watch the video at the bottom of the post.
Advice for a Happy Life:
Last year one of the best books I read was “Coming Apart” by Charles Murray. He penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal this week called “Advice for a Happy Life“. Murray says one of the keys, is the role religion plays in achieving a happy life and interestingly enough Sarah Zuev sent me an article called “Neurotheology: This Is Your Brain On Religion” from PBS, looking at what neurologist have learned about the links between religion and the brain. With all the talk about Soviet and American relationships in the last few weeks, Sarah who, studied and lived in Russia sent me this great article, “Why Russians Don’t Get Depressed“.
Speaking of a happy life, you don’t have to be a wine snob to enjoy this tour of what makes the variety of wine… well, red and white!
Hobby Goes to Court:
Hobby Lobby had it’s day in court this week. The best short summary I’ve read comes from the Federalist, “The Obama administration has argued that the government has a greater interest in requiring contraceptive coverage than it does in protecting religious liberty.” The article was titled “6 Ridiculous Arguments Offered During Yesterdays Hobby Lobby Hearing”
The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation released the findings of their survey done with veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, titled: “A legacy of Pain and Pride”. The stories and data will break your heart. But read it with this key finding in mind , “the vast majority of recent veterans are not embittered or regretful. Considering everything they now know about war and military service, almost 90 percent would still have joined.”
Student or Employees?
Northwestern University won the right to unionize this week. What will this mean for college athletics? Are scholarship athletes really employees of a university? I have no idea. But it’s a fascination story. One of the question it raised in my mind is how/if this will effect Title 8?
Not a flip-flop but a Summersault:
Changing your position on subjects is nothing new. In fact it’s often looked down upon, but reasonable maturing people should undergo a change of mind on subjects from time to time. But for a billion dollar organization to make a significant change in it’s operating practice and reverse itself… all in 2 days? That is the strange story of World Vision this week (note: my family has supported a WV child for a number of years and I did sent them and email expressing my concern and the likelihood of discontinuing our support at the end our childs’ enrollment). Especially odd was the fact they reported that the board had been “praying for years” about the decision as to how to respond to the changes surrounding the same sex marriage issue. They came up with a response, only to roll right back around to their original position! Doug Wilson responded with some thoughts that I had not considered about World Vision and parachurch ministries in general. Al Mohler shared his good insights too.
I Was Gonna Give it a Rest BUT…
I was gonna pass this week on Obamacare news but then I got this post from a friend trying to finish their application with Covered California.
Notice the wait time for the next agent? Yes that says, “average wait time 1:12:27”. The California exchange has so far awared a, ” $183 million dollar contract to Accenture to build the website, enrollment, and eligibility system and another $174 million to operate the exchange for four years”. I bet you didn’t know that Covered California spent 1.3 Million dollars on a 6 hour 18 minute webcast promotion. It was pathetic. Watch the Richard Simmons dance off (starts 20 minutes into the show) for some serious laughs (or it may make you cry).
They are currently trying to get an audit as to where the money went to produce this wreck. But that’s not all, California has received $910 Million the get the the California state exchange up and running. Yes you read that right, $910 Million. Consider the multiple stories about people in the state that have signed up but can’t find a doctor who is willing to take the care package people got: #1 #2 #3. Notice the three articles are form different locals. When I saw this pic tweeted from Larry Elder from a Doctor who was not taking Obamacare I thought it was a stunt. It’s a state wide problem. Brought to you by the government we voted for. It’s called incompetence and we really ought to stop rewarding the people who plan and carryout this kind of public policy.
Now that the deadline for enrollment is closed (uh… extended)… USA Today (written before the two week “extension”) had a good article, “6 Things to Watch For” now that the enrollment is closed. Forbes weighted in with, “Let the Crow Eating Begin“. The Wall Street Journal wrote an op-ed on retiring Senator (and Doctor) Tom Colburn, “Tom Coburn: The Doctor Who Is Sick of Washington -Tom Coburn is leaving the Senate early with a proposal to save private insurance from the ravages of ObamaCare.” How was Obamacare constructed anyway? Here is a Doctor who had a hand in making it. At the conclusion of the article he says, “I’m proud to have done my small part” with the historic law.
Ukraine via Sacramento:
Whatever you think of the Ukraine/Russia affair, I hope it’s been a good opportunity for you to learn (as it has been for me!) some of the history and culture associated with the conflict. Sarah passed this very interesting article on to me, written by a Ukrainian living Sacramento, where there is a large population of both Russians and Ukrainians. I like Henry Kissinger and respect his insights about the world. Here are his views (which differ from Condi’s view that I put up last week) on the Ukraine affair. Here is a more good history on the region from the Washington Post.
Is it Getting Warm in Here?
Remember in the movie “The Princess Bride” when Vizzini keeps using the word: “Inconceivable!” and finally Inigo Montoya respond, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” I’m getting that same feeling with scientist that keep tell us that there is a “consensus” on Global Warming (ohhhh wait… I forgot we moved on to calling Climate Change). Here is another, very well written report called (suspiciously) “What We Know” on why we “everybody” agrees on, “The overwhelming evidence of human-caused climate change documents both current impacts with significant costs and extraordinary future risks to society and natural systems.” (from the first line of the report). I found it amusing because the 2% that take issue with the “Consensus” came out firing. CATO took issue with the report. Forbes had this response to the report. The WSJ had this good opinion piece too.
Just for fun… here are the 25 best quotes from “The Princess Bride”.
This week I wrote this blog on the on the life and work of Fred Phelps at Westboro. He may have more to teach you than you’d suspect. Al Mohler gets it right when he says, “The problem is that Fred Phelps gloried in sin and in his denunciation of sin to the expense of the gospel. The good news of the gospel simply never came through. The grace and mercy of God in Christ were never made clear in his message.”
A different take on Noah…
Controversial you say?
Do Republicans have an issue attracting minorities? You bet. A solution? No but a start… Sowell wisdom.
How do you explain the fundamental differences between conservatives and liberals? Here is an article that take a stab at understanding the modern liberal mindset. Disagree? I’d love to hear from you. In fact this article from the left leaning Chris Cillizza (who I really like) leaves some credence to the previous articles case that you can overplay having good intentions at the expense of producing good results. And the Washington Time is a little more direct in their criticism, “Do Liberals Understand Anything About Operating a Business?” and it must of been a theme this week because Daniel Henninger from the WSJ wasn’t to be outdone by the WT piece and wrote, “Why Can’t the Left Govern?”. National Interest wrote one of the more intriguing articles I read this week, “Hobby Lobby and How Left and Right Flipped on Religious Freedom”.
Friedrich Hayek visits South Lake Tahoe!
Granted Hayek has been dead since 1992 but seriously he’s in town right now! …you can read this post over on my blog.
Cartoons and Pictures of the Week: