Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to Home Depot we go

To buy incandescent lightbulbs and store in the crawl space until the end of time.

How many lightbulbs does one purchase to last forever? Or until the government can back off enough to allow me to buy the damn lightbulbs I’d like. You know, the ones that don’t require a haz-mat crew in case I drop one. Pogues.

To complicate matters: how well does one need to hide the lightbulbs if one will now have to rent out the forever-home in a few months? In non-military speak: the forever-home is the one you keep in desperate hope that you’ll return before retirement. If not, well, then retirement.


I thought I had more time to stock up. Thanks, Instapundit, for pointing out that I don’t. (Though I would be remiss, despite my love of Amazon Prime, not to point out the exorbitant prices for bulbs. Head to Home Depot.)


The miracle of life (and the choice of barrenness)

Two things caught my eye today (because I sat down long enough to read!) In the first, via Pundette, Mark Steyn contrasts the miracle of life as witnessed in Luke’s Gospel to the barrenness-by-choice of today’s society. He writes:

That bit of the Christmas story doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s in there — Luke 1:13, part of what he’d have called the backstory, if he’d been a Hollywood screenwriter rather than a physician. Of the four gospels, only two bother with the tale of Christ’s birth, and only Luke begins with the tale of two pregnancies. Zacharias is surprised by his impending paternity — “for I am an old man and my wife well stricken in years.” Nonetheless, an aged, barren woman conceives and, in the sixth month of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, the angel visits her cousin Mary and tells her that she, too, will conceive. If you read Luke, the virgin birth seems a logical extension of the earlier miracle — the pregnancy of an elderly lady. The physician-author had no difficulty accepting both. For Matthew, Jesus’s birth is the miracle; Luke leaves you with the impression that all birth — all life — is to a degree miraculous and God-given.

Oh, how we have squandered what God has given, and as a result find ourselves in a desperate pinch. pjHusband and I were able to catch a little of Steyn hosting for Rush yesterday as we hunted for our Christmas meal the modern way, among the hordes at Costco. (I bet more lives have been lost duking it out for that last pie–or pair of ugly sneakers–than in the woods of late, but I digress). We were both struck by Steyn’s assertion that enviro-wackos wage war against life itself. Steyn’s analysis went a little like this: Life is time. The more time we have not running down to the stream to wash the laundry, the easier life becomes. Those who would have us use less–because the light, the energy, the time we save to make life easier isn’t in their estimation of “best interest”–wage war against life. It’s really a beautiful bit of reasoning.

But it goes further than that. An illustration: this Chinese mother dared to defy the government after becoming pregnant with a second child. That the child has lived is a testament to a mother’s love and sheer grit. But the family still faces stiff financial penalties after the loss of both well-paying jobs. When everything flows from the government, the punishment is severe. That a government would wage war against life in such fashion is baffling, especially given the predicaments faced by countries with failure-to-replace birth rates. But China will crumble much like Greece, this time in the face of its forced barrenness.

Read the rest.

H/t: Hot Air headlines

UPDATE: linked by Pundette. Thanks!

Is forcing your baby to cry it out dangerous?

You betcha.

Subscribers to this barbaric practice told me for years that the only reason my kid didn’t sleep through the night was because I was incapable of allowing her to “cry it out.” We had a wrinkle in the plans, with her post-nasal drip, which after incessant crying, usually led to choking on snot, which ultimately meant vomit everywhere. We tried it once. Once was enough. I subscribe to the John Rosemond approach: every kid up to the age of 2 should think the universe revolves around him. It’s your job after that to make it clear that it really revolves around you.

But I digress: back to the barbarism of allowing small babies to cry until they learn not to cry since no one will come to their aid. Sounds like Romanian orphanages, doesn’t it? Or the Babywise kooks. In addition to failure to thrive, dehydration, and the like, infants will develop reactive attachment disorder: in short, the inability to form a secure attachment to caregiver. This leads to lifelong problems.

Turns out, it isn’t just social problems. From an article, “Is Crying it Out Dangerous?” that caught my eye on Yahoo:

If the link between parent and child is strong enough that kids can “catch” their parents’ stress, it may stand to reason that babies crave the physical connection that comes with a cuddle. It’s something that plenty of parents are more than happy to provide during the day but, when it comes to bedtime, the modern emphasis has been on teaching good sleep habits — and giving mom and dad a break.

Most sleep-deprived parents get to the point where they’re willing to try almost anything in order to get a good night’s rest. While some decry it as cruel, others have had success with the “cry it out” method — teaching babies to “self-soothe” by letting their nighttime crying go unanswered.

But is “crying it out” about establishing independence? Or is it just a way of making those early years easier for parents?


In an article published this week in Psychology Today, one researcher says that crying it out could be dangerous for children, leading to a lifetime of harm.

A crying baby in our ancestral environment would have signaled predators to tasty morsels,” writes Darcia Narvaez, an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Collaborative for Ethical Education at the University of Notre Dame. “So our evolved parenting practices alleviated baby distress and precluded crying except in emergencies.”

You mean back in the day, cavewomen didn’t ignore their babies cries? So much for barbaric, eh?

When babies are stressed, their bodies release the hormone cortisol, which can damage or even destroy neurons in their still-developing brains, researchers at Yale University and Harvard Medical School have found. That can lead to a higher incidence of ADHD, poor academic performance, and anti-social tendencies.

Intriguing, isn’t it? Mental, not just social, consequences from the lack of care at night.

Human babies are hardwired for near-constant holding, breastfeeding, and having their other needs met quickly — the hallmarks of Attachment Parenting, Narvaez points out — in order for their brains to develop properly. Even Dr. Richard Ferber, whose sleep-training method is commonly called the Cry It Out Method, says that he never intended parents to completely ignore their babies’ nighttime tears.

But that’s what it turned into. He’s never fully backtracked his methodology, only offered a poor defense of how it’s implemented:

What [Ferber] does encourage is teaching children to soothe themselves during normal nighttime wakings. But many parents extend his advice to include all bedtime-related crying. That’s the type of crying it out sets kids up for stress-related problems, trust issues, anxiety disorders, reduced brain function, and a lack of independence, Narvaez writes. And since the problems are on a genetic level, they can’t necessarily be fixed later in life.

“In studies of rats with high or low nurturing mothers, there is a critical period for turning on genes that control anxiety for the rest of life,” Narvaez writes. “If in the first 10 days of life you have low nurturing rat mother (the equivalent of the first 6 months of life in a human), the gene never gets turned on and the rat is anxious towards new situations for the rest of its life, unless drugs are administered to alleviate the anxiety.

Genetic-level problems. Who knew that gene expression isn’t final at birth? Certainly not most sleep-deprived mothers who are led astray by well-meaning friends who sing the praises of “crying it out.”

Nurture your babies. Try to get help when and where you can. But don’t turn your back on an infant in need.

On a related note, Pundette: Daycare is just as bad for your kids, for similar reasons.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

Saying Merry Christmas is worse than fornication…

…or getting drunk or even killing someone…

So says an Islamic scholar.

And…ready for a firestorm…..I agree with him…..

What I mean is…if this man believes that Allah is the true god and there is no other god than Allah….to acknowledge and to encourage and to “bless” if you will a false god IS worse than fornication.  Mortal sin is mortal sin, but as a Catholic parent, the lesser mortal sin (if you will) would be for my son or daughter to engage in premarital sex versus actively worshipping Satan.

Now obviously I believe he is flat wrong in his religious viewpoints, but from what I understood him to say in English (who knows what he’s saying in other parts of the clip) – given his religious beliefs, he is correct – it IS a worse sin to blaspheme regarding “the worst evil” and encourage others to do so as well (for which there can be no forgiveness nor repentance) than to get drunk or even to kill another (a lesser evil as I understand his position).

Too bad that the phrase “Merry Christmas” has become so secularized that we forget that what it is (or should) mean is “Rejoice! Our Savior is born!” – today its just a greeting that doesn’t get much thought behind it – but I think he has it “right” as far as what the phrase should mean and I think that its sad that an angry man who is for all appearances trying his best to stir up hate and division has managed to do a decent job of explaining what it means to wish someone Merry Christmas.

Gulp.  There I did it.  Devil’s advocate in all sense of the word.  Hope the WP comment section is fireproof…..blast away!

Update: I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what had made me react to this video the way I did, rather than to immediately dismiss it because of its inflammatory rhetoric.  My Aha! moment came this morning and I recalled this excellent article in the NCR by Matthew Archbold which addresses the subject from the stand point of the “hollowers” – those who want to remove the sacred from Christmas.  It struck home with me and I think that’s why part of the scholar’s message resonated with me in the way that it did.  Mr. Archbold’s article is here and it is an excellent read.

Separating the legitimate conservatives from the rest

Rather than the hypocrite or megalomaniac, you, too, have choices according to Rush Limbaugh, who listed Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum as legitimate conservatives. Pundette has the story. I’m more than a little stunned that he made a comment like this during the primary. 

Perry, by the way, is rising in the polls. Ken Klukowski says don’t count Perry out just yet:

A long-serving governor of America’s second-largest state, Perry has executive experience and an almost-perfect record on economic, social, and national-security issues. Three of the best lines from the last debate were his—seeing the big picture on Newt’s Palestinian comments, knowing Obama should have recovered or destroyed our stealth drone, and declaring that securing the borders will change the national mood enough to discuss long-term immigration reform.

Moreover, he has tons of campaign cash and a large organization. And coupled with pushing for a flat tax and Balanced Budget Amendment, his support for guns, marriage, and faith will help in Iowa and South Carolina.

If Romney or Gingrich falter, Perry might take it all.

From your lips to God’s ears.

Ed Morrissey reports of Perry’s road trips crisscrossing Iowa now in progress, which is Perry’s greatest strength:

Assuming his back troubles are behind him (pardon the pun), Perry can be a force of nature in retail politics.  He got off to a good start in Iowa when he jumped into the race, but his immediate rise in national polls took his focus elsewhere.  Now with Iowa the only prize that Perry can reasonably grasp at the moment, he’s going all in — like Bachmann and Rick Santorum, the latter of whom has already visited all 99 counties and has built a surprisingly extensive organization.

As for the hypocrite and megalomaniac, this shoots holes in their supposed electability over all the others:

If the election were held today, both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich would lose to President Obama according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey. But given the choice between Obama and “the Republican candidate,” Americans choose the Republican by a 45%-43% margin.

Only 46% of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing as president, but Obama bests Romney 47%-45% in a head-to-head match-up among registered voters. That is a four point improvement for Romney over last month’s 49%-43% spread.

Obama crushes Gingrich head-to-head match-up by a double digit 51%-40% margin and half of all registered voters say they would never vote for Gingrich. Only 44% say the same thing about Romney.

A generic Republican bests Obama, but neither hypocrite nor megalomaniac can. Telling, no?


Is premarital sex today less “evil” than it used to be?

Walter Russell Mead says yes. He writes:

The core truth is that premarital sex is less evil today than it used to be.  It remains, as moral theologians say, wrong in itself, we Christians believe, and that is a quality that does not change.  But premarital sex is less of a sin against other people than it used to be.

It’s an intriguing premise, no? That premarital sex isn’t as damaging to others now than it has been historically. What’s to blame? Ah, the almighty Pill that helped separate fertility from sex–with a healthy dose of antibiotics on the side.

More Mead:

In the old days, for example, before contraception, every act of intercourse outside marriage carried a substantial possibility of ending in pregnancy.  For women, the consequences of pregnancy out of wedlock were life shattering: disgrace, the loss of any hope of a good marriage, economic and social marginalization.  It was very foolish and wicked for young girls to place themselves and their families at risk of all this for a moments’ pleasure; it was much worse for young men to attempt to persuade and cajole girls they did not plan to marry into sex.  Young men who behaved in this way attracted the deserved moral censure of the community, and parents were vigilant to protect their daughters from unscrupulous seducers.

Premarital sex under these circumstances was not just a moral crime against God’s law; it was a selfish act of personal gratification that endangered the well being and happiness of whole families.

If we add to that the devastating consequences of sexually transmitted diseases in the era before antibiotics made them treatable, premarital sex becomes an even more dubious phenomenon.  Insanity, death, sterility, defective offspring: unchastity brought all these consequences in its wake.  The casual seducer who infected a young woman with syphilis might be condemning her, her unborn children and her future husband to madness and death.

He’s right. As a result of the devastating consequences, parents cared enough to warn their children against the dangers of premarital sex. No more. It’s seen as a right of passage. Um, beware too many late-night hookups, dear. You might never learn to properly commit yourself to multiple partners later.

This helps to explain the diminished concern that parents and educators feel about the 88 percent.  It does not mean that a society in which marriage steadily weakens, abortion is commonplace, and millions of children grow up without a father in the home is a healthy place.  But it explains why many parents in particular are more concerned with their children’s grades than with their sexual activities in college and why tuition-paying parents no longer demand that their daughters be kept in sex-segregated dorms with curfews and parietals.

Mead concludes that more is as stake beyond our collective morality–it’s the very idea of life centered around family at risk of becoming endangered.

Read the rest.

P.S. Where is Stacy? With “Christians Are Still Having Sex” as a tantalizing headline, I expected The Other McCain to be hot on the trail.

UPDATE: linked as a “Recommended Read” by Pundette. Thanks!


Stomach virus, 3, PJ household 0.
Dominoes we were in the path of this monster.
A million Popsicles later, we seem to be on the mend.
The IV is the greatest medical invention ever.
More later.

Who is the pro-life candidate?

Not the one who told abortion activists that he thought Republicans weren’t doing themselves a “favor” by being so “vehemently anti-choice.”

Not the one who thinks embryonic stem cells can be harvested because life begins at implantation, either.

Who does that leave? Oh, the one who defunded Planned Parenthood in his state, effectively shuttering the doors of 12 clinics. And who signed into law a sonogram requirement for all mothers seeking to abort their babies, in the off chance that seeing a moving life within would convince some to defer to that life.

Yeah, him. Via Steven Ertelt at LifeSiteNews:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry today received the endorsement of the president of a statewide pro-life group in New Hampshire, the location of the second GOP primary election battleground.

Kurt Wuelper, the president of New Hampshire Right to Life, which is not affiliated with the National Right to Life Committee, endorsed Perry this afternoon as the best pro-life candidate to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama in next year’s presidential election.

“I know that Gov. Perry unequivocally believes that life begins at conception and does not waiver in his protection of the unborn, unlike some self-professed pro-life candidates,” said Wuelper. “But more than just talking the talk, Rick Perry has shown he is a man of strong faith and strong action.”

He added: “He has a proven consistent record of protecting innocent human life and has signed more pro-life legislation than any governor in Texas history, including the Parental Notification Act, the Parental Consent Act, the Prenatal Protection Act, and the Woman’s Right to Know Act. That’s why I am supporting him for President.”

“In Texas, Gov. Perry successfully de-funded the nation’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood,” Wuelper added. “His courage and convictions are just what America needs right now as it tries to find its way through these tough times. I am so very proud to support Gov. Perry for president and encourage anyone who cares about fostering a culture of life in America to consider doing the same.”

Read the rest. Perry signed the most pro-life legislation as a governor, and Texas has special provisions in each budget prohibiting the use of tax dollars to fund abortions.

When fighting the most pro-abortion President in history, do we want someone who really believes in the evil of abortion, or do we want someone who sneers about pro-lifers to NARAL staffers? Or someone who–despite being told he’s the smartest man in the room–believes life begins at implantation? No thanks. I’ll stick with the one who actually believes in something. Once again: there’s no need to flip-flop if you have convictions.

H/t: Pundette.

Who needs credit cards, eh?

When you can pay for your jumbo crab legs with food stamps?

Unreal. From a seafood market in DC:

Makes sense from a retailer’s standpoint: if 15% of the national population uses a special government card, then why not garner some of that business? Especially if that population numbers higher in your specific area? Nothing like word-of-mouth advertising!

“My purpose was never to be the President of the United States.”

So said Rick Perry last night at the Huckabee forum last night (H/t: Dan Riehl on twitter). More:

“I’ve lived a purpose-driven life, and my purpose was never to be the President of the United States, but our country is in trouble and our country needs us working together to take our country back. So I hope, again, that you’ll take a look at my plan and give me that second opportunity,” Rick Perry said at the Huckabee Presidential Forum on FOX News. “I’ll promise you this. That every day I will work to make Washington, D,C, as inconsequential in your life as I can. God bless you. Thank you for your support and your vote.”

Imagine, a man who feels called to serve. He isn’t the perfect candidate. Is there such thing? But he’s my 75% solution, and that’s a lot better than having to convince myself that he’s a different man. Bryan Preston:

For all of Rick Perry’s flaws as a debater and his various verbal miscues, he’s never said or done anything that would make me question whether the man is worthy of my support. There are no lingering doubts about whether I’ll live to regret the day decided to support him as the Republican nominee. I don’t have to rationalize my decision to advocate on Rick Perry’s behalf. I don’t have to convince myself that he’s a changed man in order to feel good about my choice.


A friend asked me how I could support Perry, an evangelical, rather than Newt, a Catholic. Easy-peasy. Newt converted–not a problem–after divorcing not wife number one, but number two, with the gal he diddled while pointing the finger at Clinton for doing the same. Not so much. I don’t need a President who likes who hear himself talk and who can excuse his past behavior as an aside. Catholic or no.

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air says Perry had a good night–good enough to be one of the bright spots of the evening.