Friday, March 30, 2012

Classical Music and Relief for Stress

Rachmaninov, born April 1, 1873, was considered the last of the romantics. Here is an excerpt from his dynamic concerto #3.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hunger Games Movie and Violence Warning

Warning issued re: violence of 'Hunger Games'
Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow
A psychologist and author is concerned about how children will be affected by The Hunger Games, which opens in theaters nationwide today. (3/27)
The first installment of Susan Collins' trilogy The Hunger Games is rated PG-13. The plot involves a government-sponsored reality TV show that forces children to fight each other to the death -- the ultimate winner being the last one standing. Secular film critics are giving it high marks for accurately capturing the novel and making the narrative "perfectly understandable."
But Dr. Brenda Hunter, co-author of From Santa to Sexting, warns the movie is really a story about child sacrifice. According to Hunter, the adults portrayed in the story are either impotent or voyeuristic and watch as children kill each other. Parents, she says, should be concerned.

"Their kids are being desensitized to violence," she says in warning parents about allowing their youngsters to view the anticipated blockbuster. "... There are over a thousand studies linking media violence to aggressive behavior in some children. Think of that -- a thousand studies linking this."

And once desensitized, she says, the children are no longer afraid or revolted by what they see. Hunter says "that begins to erode their God-given sense of humanity" -- a deterioration that remains with them as they become adults.

The psychologist goes on to say that what has happened in modern culture is that parental protections that were in place a few decades ago are gone.

"And there's a new philosophy that parents and adults seem to have in this culture," she explains. "And it is: Let's expose kids to everything. Let's expose them to sex. Let's expose them to violence -- and they'll be the better for it."

Not true, according to Dr. Hunter, who says the culture needs to change and parents need to learn to say no. Her recommendation: Don't let children go see The Hunger Games.

Read review of The Hunger Games from Focus on the Family's 'Plugged In'

Is the child-on-child violence depicted in The Hunger Games
  basically an endorsement of bullying?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Middle School Teacher makes Students help President Obama campaign

Virginia Teacher Makes Middle School Students Do Opposition Research for Obama

A Virginia middle school teacher recently forced his students to support President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign by conducting opposition research in class against the Republican presidential candidates.  The 8th grade students, who attend Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County, were required to seek out the vulnerabilities of" Santorum, Romney, Gingrich Ron Paul, "and forward them to the Obama campaign." 

Indoctrination at LIBERTY Middle School
An eighth grade teacher assigned as a class project Republican "opposition research" and the kids were instructed to send their results to Obama.  "'This assignment was just creepy beyond belief -- like something out of East Germany during the Cold War,' one frustrated father, who asked for his family to remain anonymous, told The Daily Caller.  The assignment was for students to research the backgrounds and positions of each of the GOP candidates for president and find 'weaknesses' in them, the parent explained. From there, students were to prepare a strategy paper to exploit those weaknesses" in the Republican candidates that they found "and then to send their suggestions to the Obama campaign. 

"Liberty teacher Michael Denman," the culprit here, who "declined to comment, unveiled the assignment in mid-January when he broke the Civics Honor’s class into four groups, one for each Republican candidate. The students were then to collaborate as a group and research the backgrounds of their assigned candidate.  Denman assigned two kids to write a paper revealing the identified 'weaknesses,' two to write the attack strategy paper and two others to locate an individual inside the Obama campaign to whom they could send the information. 
"'My classmates don’t actually know a lot, but a few of us tended to agree that the most recent instruction on this project just didn’t seem right,' one of the students told TheDC. 'Mr. Denman didn’t tell us where to find the information, just to research on them.'  As a result, the school received multiple phone calls from parents frustrated with the political nature of the assignment, the father told TheDC.  'I was shocked that a school teacher would so blatantly politicize the curriculum of a middle school classroom,' the parent said."

(Why are you surprised, sir? )
"'I asked [my child] if a similar assignment had been handed out to examine the background and positions of President Obama to see if the teacher was at least being bipartisan.' 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Republic, Not Democracy

The Dan Smoot Report The true form of the US Government is a Republic, Not A Democracy. Not merely a semantic difference. The Founding Fathers despised democracy. They formed a Republic to guard against rule by majority. First we were told we were a democracy, then the republic was transformed into a democracy. Now we are witnessing the democracy collapse into dictatorship.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, and Good vs. Evil

Dinner Topics for Tuesday
Moments from American History: Reagan Evil Empire Speech, plus Rush commentary

Many of us who were alive and kicking in 1983 and understand all the great, wonderful things that took place then with the Reagan years, the economic rebound and so forth, we are sometimes frustrated, "What happened?" Why do people who lived through that prosperity, which continued into the nineties, how do they so easily forget it?  How were they so easily co-opted into thinking -- and we know the media with the constant history revisionism that goes on daily and has been since Reagan was in office, and the co-opting of the public school system, not teaching about Reagan, or if they do, lying about Reagan.  I'm not saying, "Please, can we have another Reagan."  That's not the point of this.  The point of this is to show you it's not new.  It's not weird.  It's not unique that people think this way, as Rick Santorum does.  Here's Reagan.  We have four or five bites of his speech in 1983.  In this bite he interestingly refers to Alexis de Tocqueville.

REAGAN:  That shrewdest of all observers of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville, put it eloquently after he had gone on a search for the secret of America's greatness and genius, and he said, "Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America.  America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."  I want you to know that this administration is motivated by a political philosophy that sees the greatness of America in you, her people, and in your families, churches, neighborhoods, communities, the institutions that foster and nourish values like concern for others and respect for the rule of law under God.

RUSH:  Now, he was president when he made this speech.  He was not a candidate.  He'd been in office into his second year.  He was inaugurated in 1981.  This was basically two years later.  And we don't have the reaction, but the media went nuts, particularly when they heard him call the Soviet Union the Evil Empire.  Now, listen to him describe opposition then and think about it today.

REAGAN:  I don't have to tell you that this puts us in opposition to or at least out of step with a prevailing attitude of many who have turned to a modern-day secularism, discarding the tried and time-tested values upon which our very civilization is based.  No matter how well-intentioned, their value system is radically different from that of most Americans.  And while they proclaim that they're freeing us from superstitions of the past, they've taken upon themselves the job of superintending us by government rule and regulation.  Sometimes their voices are louder than ours, but they are not yet a majority.

RUSH:  Now, we edited the applause, but it went on and on and on.  In this speech Reagan used the word "evil" nine times.  He used the word "good" eight times, "God" 18 times.  He never mentioned Satan in the speech, but it's what he meant by evil.  So that little sound bite there, we have the secularists today.  We have people who want to superintend us by government rule and regulation.  And their voices are louder and we think we're in the minority, but we're not.  Remember, he had won in a landslide just two years earlier.  Things haven't changed, in terms of who the opposition is.  What's changed is how the Republican Party is seemingly forgotten how to defeat them, as Reagan did.  In the next bite, Reagan acknowledges there is sin in the world and that we must oppose it with everything we have.

REAGAN:  More than a decade ago, a Supreme Court decision literally wiped off the books of 50 states statutes protecting the rights of unborn children.  Abortion on demand now takes the lives of up to one and a half million unborn children a year.  Human life legislation ending this tragedy will someday pass the Congress, and you and I must never rest until it does. (applause) Unless and until it can be proven that the unborn child is not a living entity, then its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must be protected.  There is sin and evil in the world, and we're enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might.

RUSH:  The president of the United States saying this in 1983, sin and evil.  You know what I learned yesterday?  Speaking of abortion, Roe v. Wade, the law says that only doctors can perform the procedure in the first trimester.  I'm pretty sure I read that correctly, which of course now makes Roe v. Wade so outdated because you can go to a pharmacist and buy RU-486.  You can do your own abortion without a doctor.  You don't need a doctor.  So technically you're in violation of Roe v. Wade when you don't go to a doctor, if I read it right.  Anyway, just an illustration of how outdated and what a rotten law the Roe v. Wade bill is.  These two feature the lines we all remember.

REAGAN:  I urge you to speak out against those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority.  You know, I've always believed that old Screwtape reserved his best efforts for those of you in the church.  So in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals I urge you to beware of the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault; to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an Evil Empire; to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.

RUSH:  He was urging people, don't give up on this, don't think both parties are the same.  The Evil Empire is evil, and here is his identification of it.

REAGAN:  Let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness.  Pray they will discover the joy of knowing God.  But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.

RUSH:  That was Ronald Reagan.  That's March 8th, 1983, talking about the Soviet Union.  They are the focus of evil.  And with that line, the media, Sam Donaldson went literally insane. "Okay, the Russians are gonna launch now. We've really made 'em mad." Just like we shouldn't make the independents of today mad.  So there you have it, and just to show you how similar things are from 1983 to today.

RUSH:  Now, Reagan did not mention Satan in his 1983 speech, but you heard that he did mention Screwtape.  Screwtape is not quite Satan, but nevertheless a demon holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy of hell. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Morality, Sociology and Culture

Ten Commandments and Life Quotes

Dinner Topics for Friday
Ten Commandments and Life Quotes
Our Moral Code

“We have been spending our moral capital with the same reckless abandon that we have been spending our financial capital. …
“There are large parts of [the world] where religion is a thing of the past and there is no counter-voice to the culture of buy it, spend it, wear it, flaunt it, because you’re worth it. The message is that morality is passé, conscience is for wimps, and the single overriding command is ‘Thou shalt not be found out.’”1~Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s Chief Rabbi

Ten Commandments
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. …
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. …
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. …
“Honour thy father and thy mother. …
“Thou shalt not kill.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.
“Thou shalt not steal.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness. …
“Thou shalt not covet.” (Exodus 20:3-4,7-8,12-17)
Our code of conduct is definitive; it is not negotiable. It is found not only in the Ten Commandments but also in the Sermon on the Mount, given to us by the Savior when He walked upon the earth. It is found throughout His teachings. It is found in the words of modern revelation. ~Thomas S. Monson

Sociology and Culture
Article by David Brooks, distinguished Notre Dame Sociologist
“The interviewers asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life. In the rambling answers, … you see the young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so.
“When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all, like whether they could afford to rent a certain apartment or whether they had enough quarters to feed the meter at a parking spot.”
“The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste. ‘It’s personal,’ the respondents typically said. ‘It’s up to the individual. Who am I to say?’
“Rejecting blind deference to authority, many of the young people have gone off to the other extreme [saying]: ‘I would do what I thought made me happy or how I felt. I have no other way of knowing what to do but how I internally feel.’”
Those who conducted the interviews emphasized that the majority of the young people with whom they spoke had “not been given the resources—by schools, institutions [or] families—to cultivate their moral intuitions.”1 David Brooks, “If it Feels Right. . .”, New York Times, Sept. 12, 2011,

There is no middle ground. We are followers of Jesus Christ. Our citizenship is in His Church and His gospel, and we should not use a visa to visit Babylon or act like one of its citizens. ~Dallin H. Oaks

 30 And again I would exhort you that ye would acome unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good bgift, and ctouch not the evil gift, nor the dunclean thing. Moroni 10:30
15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to ajudge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
16 For behold, the aSpirit of Christ is given to every bman, that he may cknow good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
 17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do aevil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
 18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the alight by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same bjudgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.
 19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the alight of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a bchild of Christ. ~ Moroni 7:15-19

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Founding Fathers, Federalist Papers, and Unity

Founding Fathers, Federalist Papers, and Unity

Dinner Topics for Monday

Perils of Disunity

“. . . the Founders knew people were imperfect. My concern is not only us trying to seek perfection, but we’re embracing the utopian notion that we can actually find this great Pied Piper who is going to lead us. There are no Pied Pipers. There are great statesmen who can certainly help us, like Reagan, like Churchill, like Thatcher, and so forth—but they would have been the first to tell you that they’re not perfect. We don’t have to have perfection; there is no such thing.” ~Mark Levin

Principled Opposition: Think Again!

James Madison, co-author of Federalist Papers
Today we are seeing a disturbing extent of infighting in the Republican Party. Some so-called “conservative” political action groups are expending considerable resources and energy to derail certain Republican candidates and some incumbent Republicans, even using false statements, while doing little to target socialist policies and politicians. There are varying degrees to which current candidates defend and adhere to the principles which undergird conservatism. However, if we are looking for the perfect candidate, there is no such thing.

Constitutional scholar Mark Levin reminds us, “. . . the Founders knew people were imperfect. My concern is not only us trying to seek perfection, but we’re embracing the utopian notion that we can actually find this great Pied Piper who is going to lead us. There are no Pied Pipers. There are great statesmen who can certainly help us, like Reagan, like Churchill, like Thatcher, and so forth—but they would have been the first to tell you that they’re not perfect. We don’t have to have perfection; there is no such thing.”

From History—The Federalist Papers

These groups would do well to look beyond their egos and sometimes narrow concerns and do their history homework. Speaking of the Founders, think of one reason The Federalist Papers were written. Speaking to individuals and groups of his time with similar issues, Hamilton explains that if we are not careful, “we shall be driven to the alternative either of taking refuge at once in the arms of monarchy, or of splitting ourselves into an infinity of little, jealous, clashing, tumultuous commonwealths, the wretched nurseries of unceasing discord and the miserable objects of universal pity or contempt.” We see here that human nature remains the same in any era.

The Federalist Papers is a collection of essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, defending and promoting the United States Constitution. In essay number 9, Hamilton discusses how the Articles of Confederation were weak because there was no unity. He describes numerous reasons how this disunity would make the country vulnerable to the whims of other more powerful nations.

“Some of the writers who have come forward on the other side of the question [being opposed to the Constitution] seem to have been aware of the dilemma; and have even been bold enough to hint at the division….as a desirable thing. Such an infatuated policy, such a desperate expedient, might. . . . answer the views of men who possess not qualifications to extend their influence beyond the narrow circles of personal intrigue, but it could never promote the greatness or happiness of the people of America. ~Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 9

To use energy and resources to defeat someone because of an “infinity of jealousies and wretched discord” is the height of dangerous foolishness. It is a sure way to guarantee another four years of destructive socialist policies. After three years of disastrous tyranny, can we survive another four years? Especially if we bring it on ourselves by contention and strife within our own ranks? If we do not defeat the Obama regime because of this egotistical divisiveness, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. And what will we tell our grandchildren?

Conservatives Be Warned: Do Not Commit the Unforgivable

If re-elected, this present tyrannical regime will have nothing stopping them, even to the overthrowing of our system, to reign unchecked. They ignore the Constitution now. If you fail to seize this opportunity to reclaim our culture of liberty because of an “infinity of little, jealous, clashing, tumultuous” egotism, then you will commit the unforgivable sin of allowing us to remain subjected to four more years of the most unspeakable evils in our entire history. Do you want to be the cause of—even the demise of our nation as a free and sovereign republic?

©2012 by Christine Davidson