The factions in our proxy war in Syria

It isn’t just that we are intervening on behalf of the rebels in Syria by providing weapons.  We are intervening on behalf of a specific faction of rebels, with various Arab states supporting the other faction.  Since you can’t tell the players without a program, after the jump we have a guide to who’s fighting who in this complicated proxy war we’ve gotten ourselves into. [Read more…]

“The child who is born to you shall die”

The sermon last Sunday was about Nathan’s preaching to King David about his sin with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 12.  Some striking insights about the role of the “sword” never departing from his house in keeping David (and us) faithful and about David’s other child, likewise descended from this sinful relationship (through Bathsheba’s child Solomon), who had to die. [Read more…]

Babies change the male brain

At least in deer mice.  Scientists have known that motherhood makes the female rodents smarter, better foragers, braver, and more level-headed.  A researcher has found the same effect in father mice.  In fact, something similar happens when male mice are exposed to baby mice, even when they aren’t the biological father.  All of this has been traced to specific changes in the mice brains.  This has not been proven, of course, for human beings, but many men can probably relate to this.

Details after the jump.  Have any of you been changed by fatherhood?  Or exposure to children? [Read more…]

Taxes as a means of control

The Constitution limits the federal government’s power, but it does give Congress the power to levy taxes.  So Congress has historically used its taxing authority to pre-empt state laws and to exercise control over its citizens’ behavior.  George Will discusses an essay by David B. Kopel and Trevor Burrus entitled “Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling and Guns: The Synergistic Constitutional Effects.” [Read more…]

Costs & benefits of Obamacare insurance

The states are starting to set up their insurance exchanges, so we are getting some idea of how much the required policies will cost and what their benefits will be.  There will be four levels of coverage:  platinum, gold, silver, and bronze.  In California, the “silver plan,” which is the level that federal subsidies for lower income folks will be based on, will cost $321 per month, but have a $2,000 deductible, requiring $45 co-pays.  Details after the jump. [Read more…]

Thumbs up for “Man of Steel”

Critics are torn over Man of Steel, the new Superman movie, though the general public likes it a lot, enough to set a record for a June opening.  This time I agree with the general public.  The movie is pro-life, anti-Nietzschean, pro-Kansas, pro-church (Superman goes to a church and talks to a pastor when he needs guidance), takes a shot at evolution, and it’s filled with blatant Christian allusions and symbolism.  That’s not enough to make it a good movie, of course, but there were other elements I appreciated. [Read more…]