Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

America Alone, by Mark Steyn

Monday, January 19th, 2009

In America Alone, Mark Steyn (of National Review, talk radio, and occasionally Fox News) cites various worldwide demographic trends to extrapolate a view of the future geopolitical landscape, particularly with respect to the growth of Islam. Some claims in the book I found notable are -

  • World population will stabilize in 30 years.
  • US population will remain stable as immigration compensates for low birth rate.
  • Russia will cease to exist in a generation, if its population trend continues.
  • Europe is turning Islam.

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Days Ahead

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Back at last. One thing I’ve done since the last post is read (or listen to) several books, including three that built upon each other topically (by accident – I didn’t chose them for that reason), and which I will review here in upcoming days.

  • America Alone, by Mark Steyn
  • Antichrist: Islam’s Awaited Messiah, by Joel Richardson
  • Epicenter, by Joel C. Rosenberg

Given that this blog is entitled On Second Look, I can evade (quite conveniently) comprehensive summaries of the text, assuming the reader has already seen reviews such as those at amazon.com, and instead focus on offering my appraisal.

Why I Believe In God

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

I could give reasons why I should believe in God, with the obvious implication that you should, too. For example, I could say that I contemplated the physics of the universe and concluded that it must be made by design, and so it must have an ingenious, powerful and benevolent creator. But in my case, that is not so. I considered God’s works only after I believed.

I could say my life was messed up and I needed divine help to straighten it out. While I did need to clean up my act, that was not the reason either.

I could say that I have witnessed miracles that undermined all contrary argument and persuaded me beyond doubt that God is. But not until I believed did I ever see a miracle.

You see, I don’t accept God as a proposition, or concept, or personification of a creed or hope. God himself drew me, so I sought him out in turn. I love who he is, and desire his friendship. Therefore, I choose to follow him.

As Jesus said to his disciples, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you…” and “No man can come to me, unless my Father draws him;”.

So it remains for each of us to, as the psalmist put it, “hear his voice and not harden your heart”.

Prince Caspian

Monday, May 19th, 2008

This past weekend I saw the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I’ll say up front that it’s worth seeing, though there were a few things I wish had been done better. Be warned that there are spoilers in this review, and it assumes you are familiar with the first movie (or book) in the series – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. (more…)

I guess it doesn’t stay in Vegas…

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Well Norm’s gonna send the guys from Vegas after me if I don’t start blogging again.

My favorite gaming board – Consimworld – has recently launched a social network. I’ve registered there, so I’ll post wargaming stuff on that site, although sporadically. Consimworld Expo is coming up soon (week after Memorial Day), so hopefully I’ve have material to post about.

On the music front, I’m undergoing an intense 3-month preparation for a do-or-die audition for the church worship team come August. If successful, I intend to spin amateur musicianship off into its own blog, making this a God-blog only. For God-blogging I have a couple of topics in mind.

WFB, RIP

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Last week, William F. Buckley Jr. passed away at age 82. I decided to wait to post my tribute until after taking in the media’s presentations of theirs. The fascinating Feb 27 transcript from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show I think was the best.

I had lunch with a friend last Thursday who said that he couldn’t recall an instance of Buckley influencing him on any issue. Come to think of it, neither can I, other than the first time I ever paid attention to WFB when he debated Ronald Reagan on the Panama Canal and won me over to his position. It remains my only recollection of the former president losing a debate. By the time I started reading National Review in the late 1980s, I was firmly in the conservative camp, and inclined to hold similar views to Buckley’s.

Perhaps Buckley wasn’t widely read, at least by most Americans. But what he did was influence the influencers, including the one who had the most influence on my political thinking – Ronald Reagan.  His writing and television appearances revealed an interesting fellow that I would like to have known, though in a way, I did, through his work at which he was so prolific. And that’s another fascinating aspect of Buckley – for a man who didn’t have to work, he was so highly prolific, reminiscent of Isaac Newton, though even Newton tailed off in the second half of life. Buckley’s book Windfall : The End of the Affair, recounting his last trans-Atlantic sailing excursion, remains one of my favorite reads.

It is sad to see him go, even more so in that, like so many great ones who have passed in the last few years, there has not as yet emerged anyone in the next generation who can replace his value to America and to freedom.

Rest in peace, WFB. In days ahead, we shall meet after all.

And That’s a Fact

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Over “the Holidays” ;) we played the game Fact or Crap with some friends from church.

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I Wish You a Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Recently, at the end of the local boardgame club meeting, everyone wished each other Merry Christmas. No one offered the artificial Happy Holidays. Now some in this group are Christians, but not all, and no one seemed to regard the greeting as offensive. It seems that except in the corporate world, Merry Christmas is still the norm here in the USA.

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We Had an Inkling

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Recently I had a chance to try the boardgame Inklings from Cactus Game Design with friends from church.

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Yes, There Is a Santa Claus

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Absolutely true. There is.

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