links for 2007-09-30

No liberty without virtue

Laura Ingraham, Power To The People:

Our Declaration of Independence reminds us of the “unalienable rights” that are ours to enjoy: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These rights are dependent upon one another for survival. We often forget that we have been “endowed” with these rights by our “Creator.” How seldom we think of Him and our duty to Him as we exercise these precious rights.

In this age of widespread human embryo destruction, abortion, euthanasia, and cloning, how can we credibly protect the right to life? What is liberty? How do we exercise it without encroaching on the rights of others? And what does it mean to pursue happiness? Is that just a permission slip to indulge our every appetite? Is it a free pass to super-size our meals, wallow in porn, and swell our coffers, regardless of the impact on others?

Too often we have believed that “freedom” means that we have no duties or responsibilities to others. That “anything goes” mentality may appear to be empowering, but it is not. Instead, it creates a sense of anarchy that makes most Americans very unhappy.

The Founding Fathers did not risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor so we could become spoiled, pampered, narcissistic, and focused solely on our own pleasure. An ordered society was the Founders’ goal–a place where we could live our lives in limitless possibility–but only if we fulfilled our obligations. They wanted us to have the liberty to tap into our creative powers, for our own good and for the good of our countrymen. This is the pathway to true happiness. But that society is only possible if we, the people, have a shared set of values, a common set of beliefs that bind us together. The Founders did not view liberty as a license, but as a sacred responsibility to be used for the good. They understood that liberty cannot be separated from virtue.

links for 2007-09-27

My last five songs

Tom tagged me, asking I note the last five songs I’ve purchased. Since I don’t often purchase individual songs, my list will mostly contain my favorite songs from the last few CDs I’ve purchased.
1. “Once Bitten Twice Shy” — Great White
Tried out the new Amazon MP3 store and got this. It’s the only Great White song I’ve ever liked, so why bother buying an entire album to get it?
2. “Disarray” — Lifehouse, Who We Are
I really like the way this song kicks off the album.
3. “Every Man” — Casting Crowns, The Altar and The Door
I love the reminder this song gives me that everyone needs the salvation God offers in His Son, no matter who they are.
4. “Dirty And Left Out” — The Almost, Southern Weather
Because what’s a rock album without a ballad? And boy, have I felt this way at times.
5. “Long Live the King” — Aaron Shust, Whispered and Shouted
Shust builds this song perfectly. I don’t usually associate the words “anthemic” and “fist-pumping” with worship music, but this one gets the blood moving.
I don’t really like “tagging” folks and propagating Internet memes–gee, I guess if I really feel that way, I should stop participating in them, shouldn’t I?–but I confess, I am curious as to the last five songs purchased by Brent, Nathan, Michael, Wes, and Raena. (If you don’t feel like blogging your response, lady and gents, feel free to leave it in the comments.)

links for 2007-09-25

Civics Quiz

How well do you know your history and civics? Find out with this Civics Quiz, courtesy of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Leave your results in the comments.
For the record, I missed two of the sixty questions. (Yes, sixty. Get over it. They’re multiple-choice.) First was number 19; it’s been a long while since I’ve read The Republic. Second was number 36; honestly, this was the first I’d heard of just-war theory. How did you do?
[With thanks to Michael for the quiz link.]

So here I am, vocalizing

Jeff Ventura:

What’s interesting about Windows -> Mac switchers is that they typically feel a need to vocalize their experience in one way or another. That’s pretty remarkable, because it means that somehow Apple knows how to make evangelists out of users. I’m not sure any other company on earth does it as effectively. Apple’s installed base isn’t just an installed base: it’s a field marketing department.

[…]

Aside from very specialized computing tasks, there is literally very little reason to own a dedicated Windows machine anymore. I’d proffer that for the great majority of users, a Mac would work just fine if they do a modicum of research and go into the move with an open mind and the understanding that the Mac != Windows and there will be a learning curve. After that, it’s all good.

links for 2007-09-17