Monday, December 31

The New Year

Have a happy. And may God bless and keep you.

Shehecheyanu

Baruch atah Adonai
Eloheinu Melech ha'o'lam
sheh'heh'cheh'ya'nu veh'ki'yeh'ma'nu
veh'he'g'a'nu laz'man ha'zeh.

(Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,
Who has kept us in life, sustained us,
and brought us to this moment.)

Political misogyny

"I like her position on family values and health care. And I think it's time we have a female president," Robyn Rieckhoff said.
Universal suffrage was a mistake. This woman's opinion that a female should be president if for no other reason that "it's time" is a widespread and empty headed one.

In colonial America voting was a privilege of a minority with limited qualifications, among them males only, who were property owners of particular religious background. Democracy is a dangerous thing.

Friday, December 28

The Kandelhardt paradox

Stuff like this really makes me mad. Until I read the solution and see that it's too easy for the complicated to figure out.

It's a guy thing



Women just won't understand.

Thursday, December 27

Super bowl?

I've sat and looked at this picture several times today coming to some lame captions. I know someone else can do a better job. The blogging public is welcome to try, but I'll not embarrass myself.

Wednesday, December 26

A side trip

I, along with three of my sons, visited the Atlanta Union Mission yesterday. I was invited by their chaplain, who is a member of the church to which I belong, to come and lead the singing of some Christmas carols with the men. My sons and I were almost mistakenly ushered into the dining room to sing carols for another group of men as they ate, but that was quickly fixed as I explained that we weren't all singers and the chaplain was looking for us to come.

Having never been to the Mission I didn't know exactly what to expect. The chaplain explained that on previous occasions there were as few as two or three in attendance, as many of the men were off with their families. Yesterday there was a dozen or more. It was an informal sort of liturgical service with the reading of scripture and communion, followed by carols and some "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake. I was particularly impressed by the singing of the men. On several occasions I've had the responsibility to assemble and lead a youth choir, with some good, strong results and some weak. These men, by the end of our time together, were singing out, with some doing very good harmony parts.

I appreciated hearing their voices, as I sometimes do when leading worship at church, to keep myself silent, listening to the congregation. To hear the voices of others lifting songs of joy as one unto Him Who is worthy of all honor and worship is captivating as it diverts attention away from my solitary expression and reveals the fellowship becoming unto God among those that express love to Him. The popular culture worships talent and skill, putting it upon a fragile pedestal to be admired. Though the voices may not be talented or skilled, there is a quality to be admired among a sea of worshipful voices which reminds me what God has always intended from the beginning: to have fellowship with and enjoy the company of the race of men.

It's necessary to get out from beyond the usual four walls of Christmas at home with family. Not that family isn't good, warm and safe, but there's an issue about that as well. There is another world out there. A world of people whose Christmas isn't the tree with lights, shiny packages with pretty bows, or warm cocoa with friends or family. A world which isn't good, warm and safe. A world which is bitter, cold and confusing. Some of us have figured that out and have been set free. Some haven't. Strange as it is, some of the more worldly-wise, as materially well off as they might be, are still in shackles. Sometimes it's those such as of the Atlanta Union Mission who've hit the proverbial bottom who get it.

I'm not suggesting that all those at the Mission are on the right track, but I'd rather fellowship with some of life's wrecks than the elite of life's chosen.

Tuesday, December 25

To go and worship

At that time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own hometown. Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger—there was no room for them to stay in the inn.

There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born—Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!" When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them. The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them. - Luke 2:1-20


In a world filled with darkness, a great light still shines.

May you find that light, follow it and worship with abandonment Him Who shines in the hearts of men.

Monday, December 24

Building an immunity

...to the infection called professional journalism.

Supporters of "citizen journalism" argue it provides independent, accurate, reliable information that the traditional media don't provide. While it has its place, the reality is it really isn't journalism at all, and it opens up information flow to the strong probability of fraud and abuse. The news industry should find some way to monitor and regulate this new trend.

The premise of citizen journalism is that regular people can now collect information and pictures with video cameras and cellphones, and distribute words and images over the Internet. Advocates argue that the acts of collecting and distributing makes these people "journalists." This is like saying someone who carries a scalpel is a "citizen surgeon" or someone who can read a law book is a "citizen lawyer." Tools are merely that. Education, skill and standards are really what make people into trusted professionals. Information without journalistic standards is called gossip. (bold mine)
And I suppose it's "education, skill and standards" that moves Fox News to hire blond beauty queens reading the news. Certainly brunette beauty queens like Alycia Lane are trusted professionals with "tools".
Philadelphia newscaster Alycia Lane — who cried to Dr. Phil about her divorce and e-mailed bikini shots of herself to a married NFL sportscaster — is now charged with assaulting a New York police officer.
That says "trusted professional" like nothing I know.

We can certainly trust the news reporting accuracy of the media industry. Just look at the track record:

Dan Rather has "standards"...lots of 'em
As the evidence mounted, Rather stubbornly clung to the idea that his story was bulletproof, and he derided critics as partisans and Internet rumormongers. When he “apologized” on September 20, Rather would not concede that the documents were forgeries, only that he and CBS could “no longer vouch for their authenticity.”

GMA displays its "skill"
In March of this year, Good Morning America hosted a town hall event where Doctor Steve Eckstat, who was on Hillary Clinton's 1993 health care task force, just happened to be in the audience for the ABC event.

NBC gives their producers an "education"
The investigation into a "Dateline NBC" report that used deceptive scenes of a truck crash appeared to be coming to a close this weekend much as it began: with a public relations gaffe.

On Friday afternoon, even before many NBC News executives had learned the results of the internal investigation, lawyers for the network contacted three producers from the news program and told them that their contracts would be terminated. The lawyers asked the producers, including the show's executive producer, Jeff Diamond, to meet with them to discuss the terms of their departures.
Of course these are just a few examples.

Mr. Hazinski should mind his own business. I'll trust a blogger before I'll give credence to a member of the greed driven media industry.

Secession, by ways and Means

Political activist Russell Means, a founder of the American Indian Movement, says he and other members of Lakota tribes have renounced treaties and are withdrawing from the United States.

"We are now a free country and independent of the United States of America," Means said in a telephone interview. "This is all completely legal."

Means said a Lakota delegation on Monday delivered a statement of "unilateral withdrawal" from the United States to the U.S. State Department in Washington.
Some believe Russell Means acts with but a small following. Nevertheless, I applaud the actions of the Lakota. Read their Withdrawal Notice.

Secession movements have sprung up all over the landscape of America, from Alaska to the South, from California to Vermont. A look at the voting results of the last two national elections shows how clearly left from right the urban areas are politically divided from the rural, respectively.

The empire is decaying and cannot be sustained. It is left to us to revisit the causes which impelled those of the first American Revolution toward secession from an oppressive government.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. - Declaration of Independence

The army marches

Video of the Ron Paul "Tea Party" rally in Austin, TX on the 16th. And the media still don't take notice.

Sunday, December 23

Of pots and kettles

Mitty seems to think the Huck has more politically in common with Bill Clinton than himself...maybe.

"They're very different people, and obviously the area of concern relates to spending and taxation. We think of Bill Clinton as being a tax raiser and a spender," Romney said—then mused that he had read somewhere that Huckabee had raised more taxes than Clinton when they were governors.

Asked whether Huckabee was more like him or Clinton, Romney sidestepped.

"I think you have to look issue by issue," he said.
I guess it depends upon what "IS" a democrat and what "IS" a republican.

Saturday, December 22

Jesus Junque

An article from earlier this year which seems more appropriate now.

Wal-Mart said Tuesday (July 17th) it will test sales in some stores of biblical action figures whose makers say they are aimed at Christian parents who prefer their children play with Samson, David or Noah rather than with a comic book character or Bratz doll.

One2believe Chief Executive David Socha said his products were part of a "battle for the toy box" with dolls and figures that he said carry negative messages.

"If you're very religious, it's a battle for your children's minds and what they're playing with and pretending. There are remakes out there of Satan and evil things," Socha said.
Kids pretending they're Pilate or Herod? Who pretends to be Judas? And of course the kids get to pretend they're Jesus healing the blind man or turning water into wine. That must be fun to watch, taking WWJD into role playing.
This brings to mind an article from last year...
Do we need to make a “Christian” everything? Walking through CBA (Christian Booksellers Association convention), I was accosted by jugglers, stilt-walkers, and clowns. The new “Christian” Cirque de Soleil was in town. It was too much for me. We have created a subculture. Our kids join Christian soccer leagues and Christian book clubs and go to Christian concerts. In Colorado, we even have a Christian rafting company, Noah’s Ark, which is derided by the secular rafting companies. It’s known for toting legions of home-schoolers down Class IV rapids in bright, yellow-padded helmets. It may just be me, but give me a pot-smoking, ski-bumming pagan to row me down the rapids.(bold my emphasis)
It's Christian as in adjective not noun. Which doesn't describe or define anything now since there are so many "Christian" things the word has become almost meaningless. As things in the marketplace became offensive to Christians they looked for an alternative, when the defining down of Christianity was in the marketplace. Selling merchandise which appeals to people with a Christian worldview doesn't make the merchandise Christian. It just makes Christianity less understandable. The defining lines become more vague because Christianity is a state of being not doing.

Having a Christian rafting company doesn't make it any less likely that people will get hurt going rafting. And I for one if given the choice between two certified guides, will go for an experienced, knowledgeable atheist over a less experienced, less knowledgeable believer. God gives us the ability and talent to do. Christianity gives meaning to the doing.

We ain't as dumb as you think we is

Former President Clinton says his wife is a "world-class genius" when it comes to improving the lives of others.

"The reason she ought to be president, over and above her vision and her plans is that she has proven in every position she has ever had in life, whether it was in elected office or not, that she is a world-class genius in making positive changes in other people's lives," he said.
Shorely, I needs a world-class genius to improves my life because shorely, I is too stupid to know how to improve my life on my own and need somebody in massa goverinmint who knows my place to mess wiz me. Hillary said that things will beez taken away from individuals for to benefit everbody. That must beez a world-class genius thinkin'. Yeah, Massa knows what's best fo me.

Yeah, we beez too dumb to handle our own affairs now. Da goverinmint skooz is given us an emucation and done did da best day can. We is all shootin up each other on da skooz and dat beez really dumb. Massa now gots ta keep us afraid of da poleez or locks us up. Massa gots da PATRIOT ACT from Prezident Bush to keeps us behavin' ourselves and we noze dats Prezident Bush ain't no genius likes Hillary, so who noze what Prezident Hillary beez comin' up wit. She be a genius and be comin' up with stuff to keeps us on da "plantation" from her genius thinkin' on her own.

(Editors Note: Don't think for a minute that Mitt, brother of Jesus and satan, or McCain the weasel or Giuliani the cross dresser or Huckabee the pandering Huckster would be any less of a "genius" at the presidential desk. Ron Paul stands for personal liberty and getting government out of our lives. He may not be the perfect candidate but he might be as close as we'll come.)

Friday, December 21

What are they afraid of?

A Midwestern university has mandated "Merry -----mas" as a holiday greeting, banning "Christ" in apparent violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to Liberty Counsel, which works to advance religious freedom and the traditional family.

The events have developed at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Okla.

"The controversy began when the university's director of human resources recently visited various departments and said that decorations featuring the word 'Christmas' in any areas of the university must be immediately removed," the organization said. "He also instructed the employees not to say 'Christmas' while on the job. As a result the employees cannot respond 'Merry Christmas' to other employees or visitors to the University."
They're not allowed to say or respond 'Merry Christmas', so what if someone in devious trickery says 'Merry Christmas' to them to provoke a 'Merry Christmas' back. What if they were held at gunpoint and told to say 'Merry Christmas'? What if some crazed lunatic like Cho Seung Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter, comes on campus ascending to the highest peak of a building and shouts through a bullhorn demanding that every employee say 'Merry Christmas'?

What are they afraid of? Anger?

Thursday, December 20

Save the children



HT: Evangelical Outpost

Wednesday, December 19

When a church isn't a church

The Episcopal church and V. Gene Robinson, bishop and self proclaimed homosexual, are in love. Seems some of the church's dioceses are having a falling out though. The Diocese of San Joaquin in California split from the Episcopal church over its waywardness from biblical orthodoxy.

This diocese, as many other Episcopals undergoing the same divide, is finding that there may be 50 ways to leave your lover but anyway it's done, breaking up is hard to do.

“It will be a huge, huge legal battle,” said the Rev. Ephraim Radner, a leading Episcopal conservative and professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College in Toronto. “The costs involved will bleed the Diocese of San Joaquin and the Episcopal Church, and it will lead only to bad press. You have to wonder why people are wasting money doing this and yet claiming to be Christians.
There are property and money issues involved, as is the case in any divorce between two people.

The claims to Christianity are a plaque on the wall or a sign on the building or on stationary. There are no possessions, no rights, no legalities involved, but only in the view of men who have no interest in or access to the things secured by the spirit of God. Walk away, divorce, and take nothing. There is no winning or losing or gaining or wasting.

Tuesday, December 18

Others may, you cannot

If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it, and if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious He may let others get credit for the work which you have done, and thus make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your time, which other Christians never feel distressed over. So make up your mind that God is an Infinitely Sovereign Being, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings with you, but if you absolutely sell yourself to be His love slave, He will wrap you up in Jealous Love, and bestow upon you many blessings which come only to those who are in the inner circle.

Settle it forever, then that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, then you will have found the vestibule of Heaven. - G.D. Watson
I first came upon this years ago on the cover of a church bulletin. It has shadowed my thoughts since then. I find my conscience won't allow me to do things of which others seem to take no thought. And I find pleasure in the security of that constraint.

Saturday, December 15

TV socialism

...the NFL wants cable providers to embed the NFL Network in the “standard” or “enhanced” offerings to all subscribers, in effect digging into the cable providers’ profit margin. Of course, that cost will simply be passed down to the subscriber – all of the subscribers at a given level of service – if NFL’s plan gets adopted by cable companies.

Why would an advocate of freedom care? I care because the NFL’s preferred option amounts to TV socialism, plain and simple. It’s not like the NFL is new to this territory, though. This is virtually the same economic model NFL franchise owners use when they get municipalities to pay for new stadiums. All the inhabitants of a region pay for a venue that enriches a scant few and entertains a minority. Nice racket.
Nice racket, indeed. When the cable and satellite companies allow me to select only the channels I want, eliminating the channels I'll have nothing to do with such as MTV and Vh1, giving me the sort of control I really want instead of pandering to my preferences as a subscriber by offering things like Comcast's "On Demand", then I'll ask for the NFL's channel. I'll not pay any more than I have to in getting the TV programming I want.

The cable and satellite companies propagate a subtle socialism to the dumbing down of the populace.

A thought

If God had given you some objective which you knew was going to take several months to accomplish, and you knew by some eccentric means that Jesus, by the Father's timing, was returning in a week, how would you handle it?

The View of the mentally challenged

"First of all, let me show you the cover of the White House, which is nice and bland…So that's pleasant enough. This is what interested me, that it is a religious Christmas card. Usually in the past when I have received a Christmas card, it's been 'happy holiday's' and so on- And this says:

"'You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You gave life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.'

"That's from Nehemiah in the Old Testament. I don't remember- and I'm sure people will remind me-getting a religious card. Now does this also go to agnostics and atheists and Muslims and -"

Moderator Whoopie Goldberg and co-host Sherri Shepherd tried to steer clear of controversy by joking that the Scriptures were about Walters, but Walters persisted in her critique, asking, "Don't you think it's a little interesting that the president of all the people is sending out a religious Christmas card?"
As much as I don't like Bush as a president, he is first a human being. Does Barbara think that by becoming president he changes into some automaton?

Walters is a has-been, a know-nothing, who only knows how to make money preying on the numbness of others. The View is a waste of electronics and voltage.

Friday, December 14

The Huckster panders

Here's what Huckabee had to say at the Republican Univision debate, as in Mexican, South of the border...

I agree with the mayor that the first step is a secure border, because otherwise nothing really matters. But I do think the pathway has to include people going to the back, not the front of the line. There can’t be an amnesty policy, because that’s an insult to all the people who waited, sometimes, ridiculously, for years, just to be able to make the transition here. I think a reasonable window of time in which a person would go back to the native country, start the process, but the real challenge is that our government, which has failed miserably in all of this - it’s got to get its act together. When people come to this country, they shouldn’t fear. They shouldn’t live in hiding. They ought to have their heads up, because the one thing about being an American is, we believe every person ought to have his or her head up and proud, and nobody should have to be in hiding because they’re illegal when our government ought to make it so that people can reasonably come here in a legal fashion.(bold my emphasis)
One could read that to mean Huckabee thinks illegals are ashamed of themselves but shouldn't be. Somehow the Huckster must have missed the news reports last year...
"The sleeping giant is awake -- wide awake -- and we're paying close attention," said Jaime Contreras, president of the National Capital Immigration Coalition, one of the groups involved in organizing the demonstrations.

The protests began in the morning in communities on the East Coast, then spread across the country throughout the day and continued into the evening.

Two of the largest demonstrations were held in Washington, D.C., and Phoenix, Arizona. Organizers said 500,000 attended the event in Washington and 200,000 in Phoenix, although police did not provide official crowd estimates.
I suppose the Huckster's remedy is to relieve their guilt by relieving the illegalities.

Don't trust the Huckster.

Wednesday, December 12

If Ronald Reagan were here...

He'd campaign for Ron Paul:

HT: Sue Bob's Diary

Tuesday, December 11

Clipped Wings

Bobby Petrino thought he was getting one of the best coaching jobs in the NFL. Without Michael Vick, it wasn't worth keeping for even one full season. Just 13 games into a miserable debut as Atlanta Falcons coach, Petrino stunningly announced his resignation Tuesday, to return to the college ranks at Arkansas, according to a person familiar with Petrino's decision.
The Falcons must be in disarray. I can't imagine how demoralized a player must feel.

That's it. No deep insight. This news caps an already long lost football season. Petrino's resignation is just another tragic disappointment to lay at Vick's blame. Yes, one player can bring a winning positive or a devastating negative to a team. I wonder if the players took a poll they wouldn't vote to forfeit the remaining games even at the expense of their pay just to get the season over with.

Update:

Petrino called a Falcons staff meeting late Tuesday afternoon, a meeting which last about 10 seconds, sources told FOXSports.com's Jay Glazer.

"He just said to us, 'Guys I've resigned, I'm going to Arkansas. I'm sorry. I'll be talking with you guys in the future.' And with that he turned and walked out the door. We haven't been told anything else," one assistant coach told Glazer.

At this point, the assistant coaches have not been told who will be coaching the team going forward.

Petrino did not address the Falcons following his resignation. Players are livid with the way Petrino left the team and several called his handling of the situation "classless."
It is classless, to say the least. Just look at the WINLESS season the Dolphins are having and don't have any Vick distraction to blame. For Petrino to bolt like this, even if he thought it a miserable, pointless season, says the man just wasn't an NFL caliber coach to begin with. It also says something about Arthur Blank and the front office that they didn't see this coming.

The Falcons' players have two things to play for, self-respect and a paycheck, and that's about all that the average laborer has.

Saturday, December 8

Da heck with Huck

Mike Huckabee has many of the ingredients for a fine president. But I fear he is another one of these so-called "compassionate conservatives" who believes government can be a force for good in the world, not merely a restraint on evil.

Maybe it is the old Baptist preacher in Huckabee that makes him go soft in the knees for government spending programs and illegal aliens.

If so, he's not only practicing bad politics – he's practicing bad theology.
Cringing while another believer speaks admiringly of one of Huckabee's statements on creation or faith, it's difficult for me to hold back from smashing the fine china of their delusions and reveal the truth. I've wondered about Christians who so easily throw their support to the first candidate who can convincingly speak "chrisitianese" and woo the faithful despite their track record.

Here Joe Farah nails it. Huckabee has no qualms spending state funds like someone with a stolen credit card. He is someone who speaks the language of the Gospel and imagines that government, and any policy it maintains, can be christianized. Take the immigration issue for example...
Gov. Mike Huckabee Thursday denounced a bill by Sen. Jim Holt that would deny state benefits to illegal immigrants as un-Christian, un-American, irresponsible and anti-life.

Even if benefits to people who are in the U.S illegally could be stopped, "I don't understand how a practicing Christian can turn his back on a child from this or any other state," Huckabee said.
Government is an agency of man to be tolerated, not trusted. Better to be cynical of it, even an adversary against it, than to collaborate with it. Christians seem to be under the mistaken belief that government can be an agency of good and an extension of Christ's mandate to individuals to that end. Jesus didn't come to save a corrupted institution of mankind but corrupt mankind.

It's just disappointing many fellow believers are excited by this Version 3.1 Bush candidate without any deeper examination of him than "he's a Christian".

I don't know why...

...maybe it's the stuffed shirts doing a telecom musical that strikes me as odd, but this ad always catches my attention. I guess I just like the song...Notice the huge ROTARY DIAL phone the two guys tote across the stage in the background. It brings back such fond memories.

Friday, December 7

Different order of worship

Depending upon how the food is, praying could be more appropriate after the meal.

Thursday, December 6

A complete list of things caused by global warming

Agricultural land increase, Africa devastated, African aid threatened, Africa hit hardest, air pressure changes, Alaska reshaped, allergies increase,etc., etc., etc....
Each has a link to an article (which incidentally might not work) about global warming effects.

Is this ridiculous enough?

Year's End, Still Waiting

In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson predicted Tuesday that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in “mass killing” late in 2007.

“I’m not necessarily saying it’s going to be nuclear,” he said during his news-and-talk television show “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network. “The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.”

Robertson said God told him during a recent prayer retreat that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.
I wonder if the Lord told him to back Rudy Giuliani for president or suggest that Chavez should be assassinated...
You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.
Of course he later apologized, saying he spoke in frustration. Is that a spirit? Here's more of Pat's prognostications.
On the January 3 edition of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, Reverend Pat Robertson, host and Christian Coalition of America founder, made predictions for the New Year based on what he said God told him during a recent prayer retreat. Robertson said that God told him: "I will remove judges from the Supreme Court quickly, and their successors will refuse to sanction the attacks on religious faith." Robertson also said that he "heard it from the Lord" that President Bush will have Social Security and tax reform passed and that Muslims will turn to Jesus Christ.
There are a few shopping days left until Armageddon. Can't wait to hear from him what's in store for next year.

Shangmail: Finding Targets

In the mailbag, I get prayer requests from time to time, sometimes an enigmatic report...

The last word on DS in Iraq, is that he is bored. There is nothing to do. How great is that? He cannot even fire his gun cause there's no one to shoot...
Isn't it great how the government works? Perhaps we could convince the right person in Washington to have him shipped back. There are plenty of people to shoot here. What a country!

Wednesday, December 5

From someone who doesn't know what the church is...

In a Facebook discussion (yes, I do spend a little time there), TD makes the following misinformed statements:

I'm going to disagree slightly with this article. Pullman certainly doesn't like the Christian faith, but His Dark Materials are anti-Church, not anti-faith. ("Christianity" is somewhere in between, since it implies some regulation)

I was arguing that Christianity itself is an institution even beyond the church/Church as an institution, which is of course debatable, but a different debate.
First, the concept of church is only a Christian one. There is no church outside of Christianity. Christianity isn't beyond the church, it is the church, confusing though it may be that many give buildings that label. Even Wikipedia makes it clear.

Second, Pullman, the author of these Dark Materials books upon which the current movie, The Golden Compass, is based is vehemently both anti-church and anti-faith. He's anti-C.S. Lewis and was opposed bringing the Chronicles of Narnia to film because it contained "a peevish blend of racist, misogynistic and reactionary prejudice" and "not a trace" of Christian charity." As an atheist he's said, "Every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up persecuting other people." We can talk about faith apart from the Christian faith, but let's face it, he's anti-faith, period, even though he's practicing cognitive dissonance.

Confused and unintelligible are many who think they know the Christian faith.

Tuesday, December 4

The way things should be done

Some have called Joe Horn of Texas a vigilante but I don't know about that. He's doing what needs to be done. Police didn't show up until after it all was over, just to pick up the pieces, and to find reason to charge Joe with a crime when the real criminals met their fate.

His mistake was disclosing too much to the 911 operator, like this...

A dramatic 911 call from the Pasadena man who allegedly shot and killed two men accused of burglarizing his neighbor has been released. The dispatcher tried to talk him out of it.

At about 2pm Wednesday, Joe Horn called 911 from inside his Pasadena home. He says he saw two men break into his neighbor's house. Horn tells police that he is armed with a shotgun.

"Hurry up, man. Catch these guys, will ya? I ain't gonna let them go, I'm gonna be honest with ya," said Horn on the 911 call. "I'm not gonna let them go. I'm not gonna let them get away with this (expletive). (Expletive), they just stole something," said Horn to the dispatcher. "I'm sorry. I ain't gonna let them get away with this. They got a bag of something. I'm doing it."

The dispatcher can't stop Horn, who takes the phone with him as he goes outside.

"Move, you're dead," Horn, who took the phone outside with him, could be heard saying to the suspects.
Listen to the rest of it here...
Lawyers will turn anything said by someone against themselves. Funny how a man defending property, a natural right, has to be careful what he says as if he were the criminal. Mr. Horn errs repeatedly in this 911 conversation by giving the impression he was going after the burglars instead of giving the impression he was defending himself. Not that going after them was wrong, it's just that saying so is. The less said the better. Of course, his blood was up and he probably said more than he otherwise meant. It might have been better for him had he not made the 911 call until after he had taken care of business.

I only wish I were living in his county in Texas. I'd love to have the opportunity to practice some jury nullification.

Tree of knowledge...of good and evil

Fox News, being balanced, all fairness aside, covers the Tree of knowledge, not mentioning the Tree of Life:


The head of Atheists Alliance International plans to put up a tree this weekend on the lawn at the Chester County Courthouse to stand beside three traditional holiday displays there.

The 20-foot tree will be hung with copies of covers of books, including "Why I Am Not A Christian," "Why I Am Not a Muslim" and "Judaism Beyond God."

This addition to last year's three holiday displays is sponsored by the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia which, its president Margaret Downey said, is "welcoming to agnostics, atheists, humanists, skeptics, rationalists of all kinds."
Seems there's always been clear choices, even though modern secularists in their supposed values clarification obscure them. Biblically speaking, if you want to lead, then serve. Want to be exalted? Take a place of humility. There's righteousness or evil, darkness or light. Even in the beginning the choices were clear:
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,... - Genesis 2:16-17a
I pity atheists as they have no such clear choices. Making decisions is based situationally, upon pragmatics. Whereas the Christian has been choosing the Tree of Life, the atheist and every other secular humanist has chosen the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sure, they call it the Tree of knowledge to make themselves happy but there is no knowledge without evidence, and no evidence without natural law, and there is no natural law without One Who defines the laws by which reality is governed. Consider even the titles of the book covers hung from their tree. Why NOT a Christian...or a Muslim? Apparently atheists attempt to explain themselves by what they're not.

And so the Freethought Society's tree of knowledge makes the choice clearer. Choose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and make moral decisions based upon humanistic relativism. Choose the tree of life and live in the spirit, being free from the law of sin and death.

Monday, December 3

Fix it or get a new one

The U.S. government admitted today in federal court that the prosecution's star witness in the criminal trial of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean – confessed drug dealer Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila – lied under oath. "He told some lies on the stand," Mark Stelmach, the assistant U.S. attorney representing prosecutor U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said under questioning by a three-judge 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans.

"Today the justice system worked the way it is supposed to," Tara Setmayer, communications director for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., told WND immediately following the hearing.
As if that's supposed to be reassuringly comforting. If a car will run only 3 out of 5 times it's been started, it's broken. People generally don't tolerate such things too well. In my experience it comes down to getting it fixed, now, or getting a new one. It would be difficult to know just how many times the justice system has operated the way it's supposed to in recent history but I'd say 60% is being very optimistic.

Ramos and Compean are still in jail, and no matter how the justice system worked today or will work tomorrow they will not experience justice until they're released. And on that day the justice system will still have some catching up to do. It may be time to get a new one.

Saturday, December 1

Troubleshooting

Six hours, that's how long it took for me to finally resolve a trouble with a newly installed circuit to which a customer was attempting to roll data traffic. Most of that was regular working time so there was no incentive overtime to make from the ordeal. Even though it was a priority 2 trouble, customarily requiring attention whenever available, the issue was escalated to "presidential" level and worked until fixed. Yeah, I can understand Cheney's bald head as issues like this never stop with him but end up going to George. Seriously, I've been in telecom with these "presidential escalations" before and they're meaningless, except for the fact that when the customer wants resolution it means staying with it until it is resolved to the customer's satisfaction, which can often be a real pain in the rump when it's the customer's own equipment at fault and they refuse to see it.

And so after ascending and descending separate elevators from a 21st floor node to an 18th floor customer site in the same building ad nauseam for testing, the results of which made little sense, there was but one course of troubleshooting left, going back to basics and inspecting every termination, piece of cabling and point of electronic path the circuit took within my responsibility. Connectors, cabling, and jacks were all checked, step by step, working sequentially along the path of the circuit beginning with the point at which the customer's equipment was connected with and moving back into the network.

Patience is a virtue. Troubleshooting, the ability to eliminate possible problems resulting in only a few or one probable trouble, is a skill. Everyone employs it, to varying degrees of proficiency. Some knowingly, developing and improving their ability, some oblivious of that talent, therewith neglecting it. It's a discipline of mind and heart, when frustrations, anger or even despair might shunt the mind's ability to correctly test, assess results and act toward resolution.

So why talk about troubleshooting? Because it seems to me few employ it as well as they should, especially when it comes to the issues of life. It's often not enough to see troubling symptoms. It takes a broader view to see them in context and begin to isolate the trouble down to its source. Misdiagnosis is the result of failing to do this and then solving the problem becomes trying one thing after another, hoping to fix it by accident. When the correct diagnosis is made, repairs can be effective.

It all starts with people...