Sunday, September 30, 2007

"The Game Plan" kicked its competition's tushie!

And everyone is surprised but I'm not:

In a major upset, former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson pummeled the box office competition with his new family comedy "The Game Plan," which beat presumed victor "The Kingdom" for top honors.

"The Game Plan," in which Johnson plays a football star confronted by the 8-year-old daughter he never knew about, sold about $22.7 million worth of tickets since opening Friday, said distributor Walt Disney Pictures.

Universal Pictures' terrorism thriller "The Kingdom," starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner, followed with $17.7 million in its first three days.

Industry pundits had expected "The Kingdom" to open at No. 1 with sales in the low-$20 million range, with "The Game Plan" kicking off in the high-teen millions.

Critics were underwhelmed by both films, but "everybody has been starved" for a family comedy, said Chuck Viane, president of distribution at Walt Disney Co.'s domestic theatrical unit.

On Friday Samantha had a sleep over with a friend so I told Sarah (my 15 year old) that I would take her to the movies. The only movie we couldn't see was "The Game Plan" since Samantha wanted to see it. So here were our choices:

"The Kingdom" -- R rated for intense violence.
"Across the Universe" -- PG-13 but I hate the Beatles and would rather be tortured in some other way. Plus when Sarah saw the trailer she thought it looked weird and wasn't interested.
"The Bourne Ultimatum" -- PG-13 but we haven't seen the first two movies.
"The Brave One" -- R rated and it looks pretty violent.
"3:10 to Yuma" -- R rated and looks violent.
"Good Luck Chuck" -- rated R and yeah, I'm going to take my 15 year old daughter to see a movie about sleeping around.
"In the Valley of Elah" -- rated R
"Superbad" -- rated R -- Um, no.
"Sydney White" -- rated PG-13 -- we could have seen this movie but it got such terrible views we didn't bother.

You can see from this list why a children's movie beat out the competition. Parents have no other choice but to see a really bad teenager movie or a half-way descent kids' movie.

We finally decided just to rent a movie. We were going to get "Next" but they were out of it so we got "Disturbia" which turned out to be a bad choice. My husband was surprised that I would allow our daughter to see a movie about a serial killer but since it was PG-13 I figured it wouldn't be too graphic. Well, the violence wasn't too bad but the teenage hormone level was a little high. It was a teen age version of "The Rear Window" but it wasn't nearly as good. It was really slow (though the opening sequence was pretty good) and I was bored by it. Not suspenseful enough. Sarah didn't like it either, she thought it was slow at the beginning a pretty creepy.

Rush Limbaugh's "phoney soldiers" in context

For those who have only heard the clip on the news or read part of the transcript in the paper, here is the clip in context:

RUSH ARCHIVE: It's not possible intellectually to follow these people.

CALLER: No, it's not. And what's really funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media.

RUSH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER: The phony soldiers. If you talk to any real soldier and they're proud to serve, they want to be over in Iraq, they understand their sacrifice and they're willing to sacrifice for the country.

RUSH: They joined to be in Iraq.

RUSH: It's frustrating and maddening, and why they must be kept in the minority. I want to thank you, Mike, for calling. I appreciate it very much.

Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth. Now, he was a "corporal." I say in quotes. Twenty-three years old. What made Jesse MacBeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn't his Purple Heart; it wasn't his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. No. What made Jesse MacBeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences. He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth describes the horrors this way: "We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque."
Now, recently, Jesse MacBeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. And you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was in the Army. Jesse MacBeth was in the Army, folks, briefly. Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse MacBeth isn't an Army Ranger, never was. He isn't a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen. You probably haven't even heard about this. And, if you have, you haven't heard much about it. This doesn't fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero. Don't look for any retractions, by the way. Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse MacBeth's lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities because they can't find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.
I was listening to the show when he first said it and I knew that he was referring to fake soldiers like MacBeth, not protesting soldiers.

And here is a clip of Limbaugh defending himself against the stupid and vicious charges against him:

I was originally not going to post any of this, Limbaugh defends himself quite effectively, I figured people would go to his site to see what he had to say for himself. Evidently, I was wrong.

Tell us what you really believe

I really wish the politicians would be honest with us and told us exactly what they planned to do when they are elected. It would help the pundits avoid this kind of parsing.

“We are trying to save civilization.”

Absolutely excellent article on Doug Wilson's New St. Andrews College in the NT Times Magazine!!! (I know I was shocked as well.) It's well-balanced and it's written in such a way that it doesn't treat the subjects as aliens from another planet (a problem with a lot of articles written about Christians).

I thought this was funny:

The college handbook forbids students to embrace or promote “doctrinal errors” from the 4th through the 21st centuries, “such as Arianism, Socinianism, Pelagianism, Skepticism, Feminism.” If drawn to such ideas, they must “inform the administration immediately and honestly in a letter offering to withdraw from the College.” Cultural revolution cannot tolerate heretics.
And this is pretty amazing when you remember you're reading the NY Times:
The phrases that N.S.A. students are trained to use — like “Christian worldview” and “presuppositions” — are the tag lines of the theological tradition that partly inspired their college. In the early 20th century, a Dutch theologian named Cornelius Van Til introduced a kind of theology called presuppositionalism. He argued that no assumptions are neutral and that the human mind can comprehend reality only if proceeding from the truth of biblical revelation. In other words, it is impossible for Christians to reason with non-Christians. presuppositionalism is a strangely postmodern theory that denies the possibility of objectivity — though it does not deny the existence of truth, which belongs to Christians alone.

According to critics, this school of thought equips young Christians to read and discuss non-Christian ideas without ever taking them seriously. “The trouble is that once you’ve figured out someone’s presuppositions, you can write them off as right or wrong without having to deal with their arguments. . . . It becomes anti-intellectual,” says Darryl Hart, a historian who has taught at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, the birthplace of presuppositionalism. Token “anti-Christians” like Margaret Sanger, Karl Marx and Charles Darwin appear on N.S.A. syllabuses, but students say these rarely generate serious debate. Darwin, for his part, remains only “a curious event in the history of modern secularism,” Matthew McCabe says.
Presuppositionalism Van Tillianism defined on the pages of the NY Times! Unbelievable!

And given that this is the NT Times it's incredible that the really bad stuff is at the end of the article:

Students at New St. Andrews rarely read Van Til’s dense theological treatises. They absorb his ideas from their teachers. A few faculty members at New St. Andrews also had links with a largely defunct offshoot of Van Til’s thought called Christian Reconstructionism. The movement’s founder, Rousas John Rushdoony, wrote that Christians should gradually take control of society and reinstate Old Testament law — including the execution of adulterers and homosexuals. Most N.S.A. faculty members are quick to distance themselves from the movement, but not Doug Wilson.

Wilson emphasizes his flexibility when it comes to Old Testament law. “You can’t apply Scripture woodenly,” he says; instead of executing them, “you might exile some homosexuals, depending on the circumstances and the age of the victim.” He adds: “There are circumstances in which I’d be in favor of execution for adultery. . . . I’m not proposing legislation. We’re saying, Let’s set up the Christian worldview, and our descendants 500 years from now can work out the knotty problems.” Gene Veith, who is provost of Patrick Henry College and active in classical Christian education, fears Wilson’s views are a handicap for the movement. “One of the frustrating things for me is that people sometimes associate the classical Christian education movement with Doug Wilson, so some people are sort of afraid of it,” he says.

I wonder if the reconstructionists would consider their movement "largely defunct?" BTW, just so you know, I'm not a reconstructionist. I'm not even a post-mil. I'm an amil which means I believe that Christ reigns through his people in his kingdom that transcends nations. His kingdom is not of this world and can't be seen (it is by faith and not by sight). Post-mils believe that Christ reigns through the church visibly -- that governments become Christianized.

Wilson liked the article but made some points of clarification here which included a further explanation of Van Til:
The article missed a theological point concerning the thought of Cornelius Van Til. "In other words, it is impossible for Christian to reason with non-Christians." The point here is that when they are reasoning from their respective presuppositions, it is impossible for believers and unbelievers to have a meeting of the minds. We can only reason with one another when we share the premises, which the Van Tilian argues the non-believer unwittingly does, borrowing from the Christian worldview in order to function in the world God actually made. So the point was not that it is unnecessary to interact with non-Christians, or with non-Christian thought, or to deal with their arguments, but rather that we should do so intelligently, recognizing the foundational role of presuppositions in all of it.
And this:
And those liberals really worried about actual executions of adulterers and homosexuals perhaps need to think about signing up to support Bush's newly developing exit strategy for Iraq -- it is starting to look as though he might go out through Iran. But I don't really think that will make them happy either.
(all links via)

Updated: I corrected the post to reflect that it was Van Tillianism (this is how closely I link presuppositionalism with Van Til -- to me they are synonymous) that I was amazed to see in the pages of the NY Times.
Updated: Ugh! As I was driving to church yesterday after I published this post, I realize that I didn't make myself clear about the distinction between amils and post-mils as regards Christ's reign. And then when I came home I forgot to correct the post. But a commenter reminded me that I had to fix it, so I did.

iPhone 1.1.1 to 1.0.2 downgrade instructions

Go here if you want to downgrade from the upgrade. You still won't be able to unlock your phone but you will be able to use your third party apps.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

How to build a toilet-flushing Lego robot

For those who are not afraid to look like a total nerd to their visitors.

Update: Eep! I forget the link. Here it is. Sorry about that.

Gingrich will not be running for president

I'm not surprised. When I read this post by Patrick Ruffini predicating that Gingrich was in, I was skeptical. I figured he set the $30 million figure high so that he wouldn't make it. He doesn't strike me as someone who actually wants to run for president, he seems like he just wants to be president. I was going to blog about this earlier this morning and got distracted, now I wish I had because I would have looked pretty prescient, don't you think?

Two days after hinting he wanted to try for the White House, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich decided he would not run for president, his spokesman said Saturday.

Rick Tyler said Gingrich realized he couldn't run a political action committee -- his American Solutions group -- and form an exploratory committee to run for president as well.

"He will continue to bring the American people solutions to the challenges America faces through American Solutions, not as a candidate for president," Tyler said in a telephone interview.

Read the rest here.

Update: Apparently, Gingrich was the victim of McCain-Feingold.

(via) can dish it out but it can't take it!

Evidently, name calling is OK if you are calling a four star general a traitor but if you make fun of those who do it, watch out! You may be sued. has unleashed their lawyers on Cafepress store owners targeting those who parody their site. One of the owners was selling t-shirts that read:

General Petraeus has done more for this country than, the worst friend a Democrat could have! Move Away from Move On!
Michelle Malkin has the original graphic up (let her get sued, she has more money :-)

Cafepress stood up to the bullying tactics but did remove a couple items from the store. So the owner took down the offending t-shirt and put up this one instead:

Proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts go to military families.

(all links via)

Beware the iPhone update...

All of you who have unlocked your iPhone. The new update disables iPhones that have been unlocked (especially anySIM users):

An Apple software update is disabling iPhones that have been unlocked by owners who wanted to choose which mobile network to use.

Earlier this week Apple said a planned update would leave the device "permanently inoperable".

Thousands of iPhone owners hacked their expensive gadget in order to unlock it for use with other mobile carriers and to run a host of unsupported programs.

There are also reports of the update causing issues with unaltered iPhones.

On Monday Apple issued a statement in which it said many of the unauthorised iPhone unlocking programs caused "irreparable damage" to the device's software.
It's also been reported that contact information, music and photos have been deleted from unaltered iPhones.

Plus, the new upgrade makes it harder to unlock the phone (follow the link for a lot more information about the upgrade).

Another al-Qaeda leader killed in Iraq

Our military got another one!

A senior leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq was killed in a US air strike near Baghdad on Tuesday, the US military reports.

Gen Joseph Anderson said the death of Abu Osama al-Tunisi, who had led a group of foreign militants in Iraq, was a major blow to the organisation.

The US general accused him of leading a cell responsible for kidnapping and killing three US soldiers in June 2006.

The group is linked to some of the bloodiest insurgent attacks in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion.

It was led by the Jordanian militant, Abu Musab a-Zarqawi, until he was killed by a US air strike in June 2006.


"His presence was confirmed by one of the two detainees from the operation, one who left the target area just prior to the air strike, who we eventually captured minutes later," the chief of staff of Multi-National Corps Iraq said.

US ground forces later recovered a handwritten note believed to have been written by Tunisi at the site, Gen Anderson added.

"His presence was confirmed by one of the two detainees from the operation, one who left the target area just prior to the air strike, who we eventually captured minutes later," the chief of staff of Multi-National Corps Iraq said.

US ground forces later recovered a handwritten note believed to have been written by Tunisi at the site, Gen Anderson added.

Francis Ford Coppola's computer backup stolen

I feel his pain! I would be devastated if my backup hard drive was stolen. Please join me in praying for it's return:

Film director Francis Ford Coppola has appealed for the return of his computer backup device following a robbery at his studio in Argentina on Wednesday.

He told Argentine broadcaster Todo Noticias he had lost 15 years' worth of data, including writing and photographs of his family.

A script for his latest film Tetro was on one of the computers taken, along with camera equipment.

But his publicist said copies of the script were saved elsewhere.

"They stole our computers; they got all our data, many years of work, said Coppola, 68.

He said the backup that rested on the floor in his offices at the Zoetrope Argentina studio was just "a little thing but the information is (worth) much time".

The Hallelujah Diet is unbiblical

When people don't know their Bible they can be fall for all kinds of weird interpretations:

The Rev. George Malkmus surveys the crowd of nearly 400 packed into a former college auditorium and finds that people have come from all over the country -- and even from Nigeria -- to hear him preach the Gospel. But it's not his approach to scripture that draws this crowd. It's his diet: "the Hallelujah Diet."

Malkmus, a Gospel minister who takes the Bible literally, said that -- long before South Beach or Jenny Craig -- God laid out his own diet plan in the book of Genesis.

Malkmus pounds the pulpit: "What did God tell man in Genesis 1:29? That your food shall be all of those plants that are in that garden. You will not find anything of animal origin in the garden diet. You will not find Twinkies either!"

The garden he refers to, of course, is the Garden of Eden. Indeed, the Hallelujah Diet answers the question: "What would Adam and Eve eat?"

The program consists almost entirely of raw fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts. Under the Hallelujah plan, only 15 percent of the vegetables are supposed to be cooked.
And for a minster, it's surprising that this guy doesn't know his Bible:

The founder of the Hallelujah Diet is just as feisty in defending its biblical foundation. For example, later in Genesis 9:3, the Bible reads, "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you." Asked if that is God's endorsement of eating meat, Malkmus insists that section of Genesis refers only to the time of the great flood, when those aboard Noah's ark had to eat animal flesh.

In other words, Malkmus believes, God gave man a onetime pass to stray from the vegan diet of the Garden of Eden.
The problem with this interpretation is that it takes place after Noah left the ark. But that's not the only place God gives man the freedom to eat meat, he gave Israel a list of animals they were allowed to eat and a list of those that he considered unclean and were forbidden (Leviticus 11:1-23).

After the death and resurrection of Christ, God removed the ban on unclean food:
Acts 10:9 The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
Now God's people can eat anything they want which clearly includes meat.

If you want to follow a diet of fruit and raw vegetables, that fine but don't say this is some how more biblical or godly or healthier because Adam and Eve ate that way. There's no special blessing by eating this way. God gave us the freedom to eat meat and there's nothing wrong with doing so.

The Bible is God's revelation of himself, it's not meant to be a self-help book that guides you to a better marriage, clears up you acne or helps you lose weight. It's meant to reveal God as our Creator and Savior and helps us to understand what is required of us.

Friday, September 28, 2007

John Edwards' racist comment

If a Republican said this, we would never hear the end of it:

We start with the president of the United States saying to America, "We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem." And the idea that we're just going to keep incarcerating, keep incarcerating--pretty soon, we're not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They're all going to be in prison--or dead, one of the two.

Disgusting news of the day: 6 Die From Brain-Eating Amoeba in Lakes

This is pretty scary and sad! I'm glad I didn't know about this when we were on vacation.

It sounds like science fiction but it's true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.

Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.


"This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."

According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER- ee-uh FOWL'-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases—three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldw


Though infections tend to be found in southern states, Naegleria lives almost everywhere in lakes, hot springs, even dirty swimming pools, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment.

Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose—say, by doing a somersault in chest-deep water—the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve.

The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up into the brain, where it continues the damage, "basically feeding on the brain cells," Beach said.

People who are infected tend to complain of a stiff neck, headaches and fevers. In the later stages, they'll show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes, he said.

Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Some drugs have stopped the amoeba in lab experiments, but people who have been attacked rarely survive, Beach said.

"Usually, from initial exposure it's fatal within two weeks," he said.

Mike Vogel cast as Capt. Kirk in new Star Trek movie

That is being directed by J. J. Abrams:

The cast of the Star Trek movie is taking shape and it's not a bunch of big names. says director J.J. Abrams -- you might know him from such fine fare as Lost and Alias -- is leaning toward Mike Vogel to play Captain Kirk. Vogel is currently working on Abrams's monster movie, and previously was in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
I didn't even know that Abrams was directing a new Star Trek movie, I can't wait to see what direction he takes the series in. I wonder what type of enemies Kirk will battle (read this for context) with Abrams at the helm. A secret parallel Federation ship looking to exploit instead of explore?

Related post:
It's Star Trek Day at the Corner

It's Star Trek Day at the Corner

They even have t-shirts!

Now that Jonah Goldberg has been unchained he is free to wax philisophical about the merit of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I prefer the Next Generation to the original -- it seemed less naive, more technically grounded and I liked that the stories and relationships were ongoing.

And for those who don't understand the significance of the day, read this.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Palm Centro

Less than $100! But you can only use it with Sprint. Why can't Verizon get in on one of these exclusive deals? Very annoying! (I soooo want the red one.)

What is your favorite Bible verse?

The candidates were asked about their favorite Bible verse and none of them could actually quote one:

Senator Barack Obama: “The Sermon on the Mount, because it expresses a basic principle that I think we’ve lost over the last six years.”

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: “The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I think that’s a good rule for politics, too.”

Mike Gravel: “The most important thing in life is love. That’s what empowers courage and courage implements the rest of our virtues.”

Representative Dennis Kucinich: “Prayer from St. Francis, which says, ‘Lord make me an instrument of your peace.’ ”

John Edwards: “What you do unto the least of those, you do unto me.”

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: “The Sermon on the Mount, because I believe it’s an issue of social justice, equality, brotherly issues reflecting a nation that is deeply torn and needs to heal and come together.”

Senator Christopher J. Dodd: “The Good Samaritan would be a worthwhile sort of description of who we all ought to be in life.”

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.: “Christ’s warning of the Pharisees. There are many Pharisees, and it’s part of what has bankrupted some people’s view about religion. And I worry about the Pharisees.”
Why is this relevant? Is it to prove that they can pander to Christians too?

But if David Kuo is right, then the Democrats don't need to pander to the Christians because we are sitting out this election.

Nine out of 10 Republican donors this time around were not Bush donors in 2004? That is a mind-numbing statistic. It not only explains why Republican fundraising is pathetically behind Democratic fundraising, it says this - Christian conservative donors are staying home.

Much of the punditry this year has focused on who will win the religious right vote. The answer is becoming clearer - perhaps no one will win their vote. They are burned, they are ashamed, and they are staying home.


How ironic that the Republican nightmare scenario would be Christian conservatives acting more like Christians and less like conservatives. Stay tuned.

Um, why would I be acting more like a Christian if I didn't vote? Jesus didn't vote for emperor so I shouldn't vote for president?

Gere kiss still a problem for Shilpa Shetty

I can't believe this poor actress is suffering because of Gere's kiss on stage at an AIDS awareness event. I posted the video here at the time.

Five months later, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty is still feeling the effects of a kiss from Richard Gere.

Immigration officials at Mumbai airport briefly detained Shetty, saying she was still wanted for obscenity charges filed in the wake of the public kiss with the Hollywood star, her publicist, Dale Bhagwagar, said Thursday.

Shetty was in tears late Wednesday after being stopped at the airport while on her way to Berlin where the musical "Miss Bollywood" opens this weekend, said Bhagwagar. Shetty plays the musical's lead role.

"She called me in the middle of the night and was in tears," said Bhagwagar, adding Shetty was finally permitted to join her dance troupe after prolonged questioning.

"I can understand something like this if I'd committed a criminal offense. But what was my offense, when I'm just an actor, going to perform a musical on foreign land," Bhagwagar quoted Shetty saying.

Gere embraced and kissed Shetty on her cheek at a public AIDS awareness event in New Delhi in April, sparking an outcry among conservative hardline Hindus, who claimed the pair had violated the country's strict anti-obscenity laws.

A regional court issued arrest warrants against Gere and barred Shetty from leaving the country. The order was soon overturned by the Supreme Court.

But the Supreme Court ruling didn't show up in the immigration department computer system, Bhagwagar said.

“‘Christian’ is the new ‘gay.’”

What?? (via)

Democrats Can't Make Guarantee on Iraq Troops

Ha! They finally admitted it! We all knew this was going to happen and I'm glad that the they are now admitting that there is no way they can just promise to pull the troops if they're elected:

The leading Democratic White House hopefuls conceded Wednesday night they cannot guarantee to pull all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the next presidential term in 2013.

"I think it's hard to project four years from now," said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a campaign debate in the nation's first primary state.

"It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting," added Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

"I cannot make that commitment," said former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

Sensing an opening, Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson provided the assurances the others would not.

"I'll get the job done," said Dodd, while Richardson said he would make sure the troops were home by the end of his first year in office.
Don't believe Dodd or Richardson they are just clearly pandering. They won't be able to do it as well. Mike Gravel and Kucinich are the only ones I believe who would actually pull the troops no matter what the conditions on the look like.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Want to know how your presidential candidate ranks in the all important religion category? Then maybe you should check out beliefnet's God-o-Meter:

The God-o-Meter (pronounced Gah-DOM-meter) scientifically measures factors such as rate of God-talk, effectiveness—saying God wants a capital gains tax cut doesn't guarantee a high rating—and other top-secret criteria.
It turns out that we are backing the most secular candidate:
Maybe God-o-Meter's just temperamental. Last week, its Fred Thompson needle hit a new low after a leaked email revealed that Christian Right titan James Dobson has ruled out supporting him. Today, Thompson's needle is back up to 5. But God-o-Meter thinks it has good cause: Such evangelical heavyweights as ex-presidential candidate Gary Bauer and Southern Baptist Convention public policy chief Richard Land have come to Thompson’s aid. Will the “Southern fried Reagan,” as Land calls him, benefit from a battle among Christian Right leaders to be the GOP’s next kingmaker? Or will the “pro-family” feud split the evangelical vote so many ways that its impact isn’t much felt in GOP primaries? For now, Thompson should be breathing a sigh of relief that his opposition to a federal marraige amendment banning gay unions hasn’t scared off more of the evangelical political elite.

Gunman wearing Bush mask arrested at St. John's

What in the world would possess a student to walk around in a mask with a gun? Did he want to get caught?

A gunman wearing a George Bush mask and toting a single-shot rifle was arrested at St. John's University Wednesday afternoon thanks to the quick work of a police cadet, officials said. The incident triggered fear but no injuries on the Queens campus, and no gunshots were fired, police said.


Officers spent the afternoon scouring the campus, going building to building. Police also searched the Jackson Heights, Queens home of the 22-year-old suspect, identified by police as Omesh Hiraman, who appears to be a student.

Police say an off-duty police cadet who attends St. John's, Christopher Benson, 21, saw Hiraman walk past at approximately 2:30 p.m. wearing the mask and a black hoodie.

Kimberly Forrest, 18, from Central Islip says she was on her way to Marillac Hall for a class, when she also "saw a guy walking in my direction wearing a white mask".

"I thought it was strange that a person was wearing a hoodie and a mask".

Benson noticed the suspect was carrying a black plastic bag with what appeared to be a rifle sticking out, and contacted police.

Benson followed Hiraman to Marillac Hall, police say, where a university guard who was responding to calls of a suspicious male grabbed the rifle from Hiraman after a struggle. The weapon was a Wolf, .50 caliber breech-loading black powder rifle.
I have to say it's going to be really difficult to let my baby go to college in a couple years. I think I'm going to be pushing for Rutgers :-)


Bruce Waltke's OT Theology has finally been published!!

I can't tell you how long I've waited for this publication! Years!

Here's a description:

The Old Testament is more than a religious history of the nation of Israel. It is more than a portrait gallery of heroes of the faith. It is even more than a theological and prophetic backdrop to the New Testament. Beyond these, the Old Testament is inspired revelation of the very nature, character, and works of God. As renowned Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke writes in the preface of this book, the Old Testament’s every sentence is “fraught with theology, worthy of reflection.”

This book is the result of decades of reflection informed by an extensive knowledge of the Hebrew language, the best of critical scholarship, a deep understanding of both the content and spirit of the Old Testament, and a thoroughly evangelical conviction. Taking a narrative, chronological approach to the text, Waltke employs rhetorical criticism to illuminate the theologies of the biblical narrators. Through careful study, he shows that the unifying theme of the Old Testament is the “breaking in of the kingdom of God.” This theme helps the reader better understand not only the Old Testament, but also the New Testament, the continuity of the entire Bible, and ultimately, God himself.
I will be taking OT History and Theology II in the spring so I'm sure I'll have to read it for that course. Especially given this recommendation (by the professor who will be teaching the course):
In An Old Testament Theology Bruce Waltke shares his lifetime of devout scholarly study of the Bible. He is a master interpreter, and all of us—scholars, clergy, and laypeople—benefit greatly from this tremendous insights into the text. This book is a must read for all who study the Old Testament. - Tremper Longman III, Visiting Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary
Since it's a 1,000 pages I better get started.

The price is reasonable, only $27.87 at Westminster bookstore (and if you use my link, I get a kick back :-)

Joseph Farah: Thompson lost me

Thompson's support appears to have been pretty weak if people abandon him this early in the race:

Most of the attention on the straw poll at last week's Values Voter Republican Presidential Debate was on the big winner – Mike Huckabee.

The former Arkansas governor deserves the recognition he got from the delegates at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale.

He entered the contest as the favorite of 35 percent of the delegates from pro-family organizations. But he finished the debate as the favorite of 63 percent.

That was quite an accomplishment.

There was, however, a big loser in the debate – one of the four GOP presidential candidates who decided not to show up.

The big loser was Fred Thompson, who entered the evening as the favorite of 15 percent of those in attendance. When the evening was over, he had the support of just 4 percent. No other candidate lost anywhere near that kind of support as a result of his performance or, in Thompson's case, his non-performance.

He also lost me.


Not only did he dodge last week's Values Voters Republican Presidential Debate, which I had the honor of moderating, but, I'm told, he is also dodging events sponsored by some of the finest, most hardworking pro-family organizations in this country.

It seems it wasn't just a matter of scheduling. It was a matter of conviction. It was a matter of fear.

If I'm wrong, I invite Fred Thompson to make his case right here to millions of WND readers. WND attracts more "conservative" readers than any other website in the world. We're ready to interview him on the hot issues of the day. We're ready to provide him a forum where he can clarify his views and his recent actions. We're ready to re-evaluate his candidacy based on such efforts.

Wow! Christians are going to make it tough on Thompson! He's going to have to dance to their tune on all issues or they aren't interested. I wonder if a candidate can get the nomination without pandering to the Christian right. Does the candidate have to tell them that he will pass a marriage amendment even knowing he won't be able to do it? If they make this a deal breaker issue, then they really must insist that the candidate they endorse has to tell them how he intends to fulfill his promise with a Democrat majority in the Senate.

I believe that Thompson is the most conservative of the candidates in the top tier and that he's a good fit for the Christian conservatives who are federalists. Those who want the government to solve our problems, might want someone like Huckabee. I really do want a Reagan conservatives who believes that government isn't the solution to our problems. I want a Republican president who remembers Reagan's famous quote and agrees with it:
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
But if the conservative Christians really want to pass a marriage amendment, then they should be seeking to elect Senators who vow to support the amendment. That's the only way they are going to get it passed.

Nike Air Native N7 aided at Native Americans

This is an interesting concept, niche products. Though, it does raise the question of weather this is really necessary. Is there really a major difference between the feet of the rest of America and the feet of Native Americans?

Nike Inc. has unveiled the Nike Air Native N7, an athletic performance shoe designed specifically for American Indians.

The Nike Air Native N7 is the result of nearly two years of collaborative research, development and fit testing in partnership with the American Indian community. The first-of-a-kind performance shoe was created to address the specific fit and width requirements for the Native American foot.


“Nike is aware of the growing health issues facing Native Americans,” said Sam McCracken, Manager of Nike’s Native American Business program. “Through the Nike Air Native N7 we are stepping up our commitment to use our voice on a local, regional and national level to elevate the issue of Native American health and wellness. We believe physical activity can and should be a fundamental part of the health and wellness of all Native Americans.”

Debunking myth about the "third world"

This has got to be the best presentation of UN population data that's every been given. Hans Rosling, professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute shows how the third world is developing in health and wealth by using an animated graph that spans from 1962-2003 using fertility and mortality rates in countries around the world and health and wealth data from the same time span. The animation of the data points demonstrates dramatically how the world overall is becoming more healthy and prosperous which is surprising when you take into account the aids epidemic, famine and political unrest in Africa.


It's twenty minutes long but it's really fascinating and worth the time it takes to view it.

You can play with the graph here. And you can view other lectures here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oh those poor atheists!

The horrors they have to encounter in a kindergarten classroom.


Thompson to meet with evangelical leaders?

According to Brody, Thompson will be meeting with "some evangelical leaders" this week:

I've been told that some evangelical leaders will be meeting with Thompson this week. Part of the discussion will focus on his position regarding a federal marriage amendment. There's a major concern that his stance is a problem and he needs to re-evaluate it.

One person close to the process, who doesn't want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the discussions told me, "Support has stalled because of his stance on the federal marriage amendment. If he doesn't come around, I don't think he gets traction." This person goes on to say,"There were high expectations. He not only did not make these expectations, he did poor coming out… But if he comes around on marriage, he can potentially do it."
I don't think it does Thompson any good to pander to the Christians conservatives on this and tell them what they want to hear. It would be easier and politically expedient to do so but it would be better to convince them that this shouldn't even be an issue in the campaign (especially given the fact that there's a very real possibility that Pelosi and Reid will still be in control of Congress after the next election). If a Republican wins the election, there's nothing he'll be able to do regarding the marriage amendment. It's not going to happen regardless of who gets in.

Ron Paul Girl

I bet she's as authentic as Obama Girl:

Stop The ACLU has a picture of the real Ron Paul girl.

Huckabee's "Vertical Day"

I guess Huckabee is trying to drive up his stats:

Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee will host an historic 24-hour online "conversation" with voters called "Vertical Day, starting at 10 a.m. CT / 11 a.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 24 and ending at 10 a.m. CT / 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 25, it was announced today.

To officially kick-off the special event, Huckabee will host a live web-cast for bloggers and interested media at 11 a.m. CT / 12 Noon ET. (RSVP details below.)

The goal of "Vertical Day" is to focus on the issues in order to attract a large wave of potential supporters to the campaign website ( over a 24-hour period. An emphasis will be placed on building new online support, energizing the campaign's base of existing support, and identifying the people most likely to participate in the first wave of the actual get-out-the-vote efforts on the ground.
Components of Vertical Day include: blog posts, video clips of Huckabee on the issues and clips of Huckabee answering questions from bloggers.
Having Gingrich guest blog must have helped get the word out, both Brody and Wired noted it.

Yes, getting voters to your blog to check out your positions is a good thing until they read something like this:
Governor Huckabee, when you are elected President, how will you get anything accomplished with a Democratic Senate (and possibly House)? How will you convince them to vote in your favor?

Thanks Virginia for the question. I am the Republican candidate with the best spirit and attitude to work with a Democrat Congress to end the gridlock and get things done. I am a conservative, but I’m not mad at anybody. I don’t believe that Republicans are right all the time or that Democrats are wrong all the time.
I'm sorry but this sounds a lot like what Bush said when he came to office. It doesn't matter if you aren't mad at anybody, how are you going to work with those who are mad at you? How do you work with those who refuse to budge until they get their way. Those who feel compromise means you abandon your position. I'm not interested in someone who wants to lay down and let the Democrats walk all over them, I want someone who will fight them and win.

Um, and then there's this:

The love candidate?

Homeland Security computers hacked

Our government in action:

Hackers compromised dozens of Department of Homeland Security computers, moving sensitive information to Chinese-language Web sites, congressional investigators said Monday.

Investigators pointed a finger at a government contractor, saying the firm hired to protect DHS computers tried to hide the incidents from the department.

The FBI is investigating the incidents, a congressional staffer said, and two members of Congress have asked the department's inspector general to also launch an investigation.

"The results of our [committee] investigation suggest that the department is the victim not only of cyber attacks initiated by foreign entities, but of incompetent and possibly illegal activity by the contractor charged with maintaining security on its networks," Democratic Reps. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and James Langevin of Rhode Island said in a written statement.

The lawmakers said committee investigators found dozens of DHS computers were compromised and the incidents "were not noticed until months after the initial attacks."

The extent of the damage is unclear, but a House Homeland Security Committee staff member said the hackers "took significant amounts of information."
Don't you feel safer now?

Iranian news reports that Ahmadinejad was applauded

And here we see the results of inviting Ahmadinejad to lecture at a prestigious university. No mention of the laughter or the fact that he really didn't answer their questions or the stinging rebuke of Bollinger's introduction:

Despite entire US media objections, negative propagation and hue and cry in recent days over IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's scheduled address at Colombia University, he gave his lecture and answered students questions here on Monday afternoon.


Before President Ahamadinejad's address, Colombia University Chancellor in a brief address told the audience that they would have the chance to hear Iran's stands as the Iranian President would put them forth.

He said that the Iranians are a peace loving nation, they hate war, and all types of aggression.


The audience on repeated occasion applauded Ahmadinejad when he touched on international crises.

They even reported that he received a standing ovation from the audience. It won't be too hard for him to make the case in his country and on Arab TV that he has the support of the American people.

Good job, Columbia! You have just become a useful tool to our enemy in the propaganda war of the jihadists. You've given a platform to a man who is bent on annihilating Israel and defeating the West.

Monday, September 24, 2007

NY Times admitted it was a liberal newspaper in 2004

A blast from the past:

"Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper? Of course it is."--headline and first paragraph of column by New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent, July 25, 2004
So maybe it's part of the cottage industry?

Edwards: Limit Frivolous Lawsuits

I suddenly feel like I've been thrust into a parallel universe and Satan must be in parka:

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who made his fortune as a trial lawyer, says attorneys should have to show their medical malpractice cases have merit before filing them.

He also said attorneys with a history of frivolous suits should be barred from filing new cases.

Edwards' proposal is similar to "certificates of merit" laws that have been adopted in several states in recent years. Those laws usually require that an independent doctor assert the validity of a malpractice case before it is filed.

Ahmadinejad: ‘In Iran, We Don’t Have Homosexuals Like In Your Country’

It's sickening that this got a laugh. It could have been for incredulity but still, it sickens me that a nation that puts homosexuals to death would be a laughing matter.

This video certainly demonstrates that the statement is a lie.

NY Times admits it violated policies with ad


After two weeks of denials, the New York Times acknowledged that it should not have given a discount to for a full-page advertisement assailing Gen. David H. Petraeus.

The liberal advocacy group should have paid $142,000 for the ad calling the U.S. commander in Iraq "General Betray Us," not $65,000, the paper's public editor wrote yesterday.

Clark Hoyt said in his column that MoveOn was not entitled to the cheaper "standby" rate for advertising that can run any time over the following week because the Times did promise that the ad would run Sept. 10, the day Petraeus began his congressional testimony. "We made a mistake," Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis was quoted as saying.


The Times also violated its own advertising policy, which bars "attacks of a personal nature," Hoyt reported. He wrote that the episode "gave fresh ammunition to a cottage industry that loves to bash The Times as a bastion of the 'liberal media.' "
Excuse me while I go laugh my head off over that last line. Sorry, only fools believe that the NY Times isn't in bed with the left. This is just one more confirmation among thousands.

Bauer disappointed by Dobson memo on Thompson

This is shaping up to be a very long and contentious campaign season. Not looking good for unifying around our candidate. Even the Christian right are bickering over the candidates:

Prominent evangelical leader and former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer fears Dr. James Dobson's highly critical comments about presidential hopeful Fred Thompson will further divide conservative Christians.


American Values president Gary Bauer says Dobson's email is unhelpful because Thompson is a candidate conservative Christians should seriously consider if they hope to avoid what he calls the "nightmare scenario" of having to choose in the general election from two pro-abortion, pro-gay rights politicians from New York -- Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.


He says that Thompson's political views align closely with those of conservative Christians. Bauer states that Christian citizens are "very bright" and make "their own judgments". He also states that "… at the end of the day, we're all going to do the same thing; we're going to watch debates, and watch campaigning, see who can raise the money that you have to raise, and I think the one thing that almost every conservative Christian agrees about is that we cannot allow Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States."
Yes, we will make our own decisions and not follow someone that we did not put into leadership. Thompson's views match the closest to conservative Christians than any of the other first-tiered candidates. I hope that Thompson picks up his game a little and gets that message out there.

"Why I Have A Little Crush on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad"

These are the words of a Jewish Lesbian at DailyKos who knows that she would probably be put to death in Iran but because he talks smack about the president, she likes what she hears. Unbelievable!

XO laptop on sale for a limited time in the USA

Sales of the $100 laptop (which is up to $188) for children in third world countries have been slow so the makers of the laptop have decided to try to jump start sales by selling them in America at a two for one price. You buy two laptops and the second one gets sent to a child in the third world. The price of the second laptop is tax deductible.

With orders for its rugged XO laptop falling short of its initial goal, the One Laptop Per Child project announced today that it would let consumers in the United States and Canada buy the cute computer for a limited time.

In an interview last week, Nicholas Negroponte, the former MIT Media Lab director and founder of the so-called $100 laptop initiative, conceded that he had not locked in the 3 million orders that he once said were necessary to trigger mass production.

The new "Give 1, Get 1" initiative could be the antidote, he said, by helping to spread the project.

For a limited two-week span in November, people will be able to buy two laptops for $399, one for the buyer and one for a child in a developing country.

They say they will be able to ship by Christmas. I think it would make a great present for a small child who wants a laptop like their older siblings. They sound pretty rugged and are built to withstand the climate and conditions of a third world country. And the child will get a valuable lesson in sharing their abundance with kids who don't have as much.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"God" now has an attorney in Nebraska lawsuit

A Christian attorney has responded to the lawsuit of state Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers. Since he hasn't been retained by God, I can't see how he would be able to represent him in a court of law:

The mystery of one response to a lawsuit against God has been solved. Eric Perkins, an attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas, said Friday he filed a response to the lawsuit from Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers. "It's kind of a turn on 'What would Jesus do?'" Perkins said. "I thought to myself, "what would God say?"

"Defendant denies that this or any court has jurisdiction ... over Him any more than the court has jurisdiction over the wind or rain, sunlight or darkness," according to Perkins' response.

As for Chambers' contention that God made terroristic threats, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization," Perkins wrote that God "contends that any harm or injury suffered is a direct and proximate result of mankind ignoring obvious warnings."

I read an interesting take on the lawsuit by an open theist (since man has free will, God does not know the future), Greg Boyd, he blames the complainant:
Then, given this attorney's New Testament track record, I suspect he may turn the case around on Chambers himself. "I gave my life to free the world from sin and suffering," he may argue. "Are you doing everything you can to rid the world of sin and suffering Mr. Chambers? Why aren't you joining my cause?"

It's just possible Chambers will come to see that he's actually the one on trial and just possible he'll come to realize and confess his guilt.
I can't see how Chambers is to blame for "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants" and for "fearsome floods ... horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes."

I doubt God would shift the blame to man for the tremendous display of his power in nature. The heavens and the earth belong to God and all of his creation is his to control.
Deuteronomy 10:14 Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.

Psalm 104:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, 2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. 3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; 4 he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. 5 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. 8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth. 10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; 11 they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. 13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. 14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth 15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart. 16 The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. 18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers. 19 He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. 20 You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about. 21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. 24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Matthew 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 6:6 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
He is in control of life and death:
Psalm 68:20 Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.

Psalm 139:13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Boyd states that the God of the Calvinists would have a hard time making his case:
Now, it seems to me everything rides on which God takes the defense stand. If the omni-controlling God of classical Calvinism shows up, I suspect God's defense attorney is going to have a rough time of things. He would have to concede that God in fact did all the things Chambers alleges, but that he had good reasons for doing so. His glory would have been displayed less brilliantly had each disaster alleged in the lawsuit not transpired.
Well, since the God of the Calvinists is the God of the Bible, we can look there for help in understanding how God would defend himself against Chambers' charge. And surprisingly this isn't the first time someone thought about putting God on trial, Job beat Chambers to it. This was God's response when Job tried to get answers from him:
Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 "Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, 9 when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, 10 and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, 11 and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed'? 12 "Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, 13 that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? 14 It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment. 15 From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken. 16 "Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? 18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this. 19 "Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, 20 that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home? 21 You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great! 22 "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? 24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? 25 "Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt, 26 to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man, 27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground sprout with grass? 28 "Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? 29 From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the frost of heaven? 30 The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. 31 "Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? 32 Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth1 in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? 33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? 34 "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? 35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, 'Here we are'? 36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? 37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, 38 when the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together? 39 "Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, 40 when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket? 41 Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?
He goes on for three more long chapters that demonstrate the folly of attempting to question the Almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Here's Job's response to God:
Job 40:1 And the LORD said to Job: 2 "Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it." 3 Then Job answered the LORD and said: 4 "Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. 5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further."

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD and said: 2 "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 'Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.' 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
The creature doesn't put the Creator on trial. Paul understood this:
Romans 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?
God stooped down to show the way to salvation to his people but he will not do so to answer the charge of his creation.

Israel seized North Korean nuclear material in Syria raid

Axis of evil, anyone?

Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem.

The attack was launched with American approval on September 6 after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related, the well-placed sources say.

They confirmed that samples taken from Syria for testing had been identified as North Korean. This raised fears that Syria might have joined North Korea and Iran in seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

So much for the cooperation of North Korea in ending their nuclear program.

Romney Wins Michigan Staw Poll

Thompson finished behind Ron Paul. Pretty pathetic:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney used his Michigan connections to good advantage over the weekend in easily winning a straw poll of registrants to the Michigan Republican Party’s biennial island conference.

Romney, a Michigan native and son of a former governor, pulled in 39% of the vote open to delegates to the conference who were also Michigan residents. Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain, who has been fighting organizational woes in Michigan and elsewhere, was a relatively strong second, with 26.5%.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, whose Internet-fueled insurgency campaign was second only to Romney’s in visible presence at the conference, finished third with 10.8%, edging former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 10.6%.

Former Tennessee U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson was at 7.2%, with other candidates in low single digits. The straw poll, conducted by The Hotline, a Washington D.C.-based online political newsletter, for the state GOP, ran all weekend, drawing 979 of the approximately 2000 party activists in attendance.
Probably didn't help that he gave such a bad speech. He is throwing away his chance to give us a real conservative in this race!

"The demand for Thompson appears to outstrip the supply"

David Freddoso on Thompson's speech in Michigan:

Thompson delivered something that barely resembled an applause line, and suddenly received an incongruous amount of applause. It's still more proof that the demand for Thompson appears to outstrip the supply. It would be nice to see him speak with a bit more energy.
It is a source of frustration for me that in the area that I thought Thompson would excel he bombs. How is he going to be the spokesman for conservatives if people stop listening because of his delivery? He's an actor, why can't he at least act like he's passionate? He could pretend that he's a candidate who wanted this his whole life and everything rides on getting this nomination.

This is a concern as well:
In response to questions, he said he had no particular strategy for Michigan, where he is doing well in the polls. Asked how he would fix the state’s high unemployment rate, Mr. Thompson said: “Sound economic policy, low taxes, less regulation.”

Asked what separated him from the rest of the pack, Mr. Thompson said he wasn’t comparing himself for now with his fellow Republican opponents, although he did: “There’ll be opportunities to explain our differences when we have them,” he said, “and we can talk about how long we’ve had the principles that we’re now articulating,” a dig at both Mr. Romney and Rudolph W. Giuliani, who have adjusted their positions on various social issues.
You have no strategy for Michigan? Think it's just going to happen then? But since he has a southern strategy, I guess it really doesn't matter:
The Thompson campaign, by contrast, starts from the premise that the unsettled early primary season and the lack of a clear front-runner have created a chaotic race that they can capitalize on, despite a bumpy start that left some Republicans wondering if Mr. Thompson was fully prepared and engaged. Theirs is a “red state” strategy that calls for Mr. Thompson to do well in Republican strongholds in the South and Midwest that are awarded bonus delegates under the rules of the Republican convention.
And this seems pretty smart:
“You’re going to start to see us posing the question: what were you fighting for in 1994 when the Republicans took control of Washington?” said Todd Harris, Mr. Thompson’s communications director, referring to Mr. Thompson’s election to the Senate as part of that year’s Republican landslide. “Were you a foot soldier in the revolution?”

The question, of course, may remind voters that Mr. Giuliani endorsed Mario M. Cuomo, a Democrat and well known liberal, for governor of New York that year, while Mr. Romney ran for the United States Senate in Massachusetts that year as a socially liberal Republican who supported abortion rights and gay rights.

They are betting that even if Mr. Thompson does not do well in Iowa and New Hampshire, where other campaigns have built stronger organizations, strong showings in South Carolina and Florida will position him to do well in the later voting. And they are employing a strategy that takes advantage of Republican convention rules that award extra delegates to states that voted for President Bush last time, or which have Republican governors, senators or state legislatures — states which they see as potential strongholds for Mr. Thompson.
In the NY Times article that I linked to above the only candidates that were featured were the top-tiered candidates. Mike Huckabee is still considered second-tier by the media despite his proclamation.

Update: Another disappointed Fredhead.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Traveling Terabyte

Hard disks filed with music, TV shows, and movies sent to Americans stationed overseas.

A New Jersey network engineer is on a mission to send some love and care – of the digital kind – to Americans stationed overseas. Going by his hacker handle ‘Deviant Ollam’, he’s been sending out hard drives filled with popular movies, television shows and music for over a year. Dubbed the Traveling Terabyte Project (TTB), the drives have seen action in war-torn countries and one set is now making a small contingent of Marines very happy in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan.


Deviant encourages users of the TTB to share their own pictures, music and other files by filling up the empty space on the drives. “I have a very open door policy about sharing. If there’s something interesting, and there’s room, feel free to share,” said Deviant. He adds that once people receive the drives they often have an “overwhelming and second nature” desire to add files.


Eventually, Deviant would like to deploy dozens of Traveling Terabyte boxes around the world. He also would like to set up a website and forum where people could put in file requests and even vote on material to add or delete. In true geek fashion, he thinks some type of routing system or protocol would be needed to give priority to people who want to upload files.

Sending out that many boxes would obviously require extra hard drives and cases and so far Deviant hasn’t asked any of the drive makers for help. “I’m not sure how they would react to this project, but I wouldn’t turn down free hardware,” he said.
Here's a picture of the case.

An NYU student commits suicide

According to the university's student newspaper he jumped from the dorm roof. It seems early for the pressures of the semester to take it's toll this way:

Residents identified the student as Allan Oakley Hunter, known by friends as Tre. NYU officials said it appears he committed suicide.


In an e-mail to the NYU community, President John Sexton wrote, "Part of suicide's pain is the elusiveness of any easy answers. However, notwithstanding the absence of easy answers, some things are very clear: we have a responsibility to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and others around us safe and well."

GSP freshman Lena Nguywen - who lives on the 8th floor, where Hunter lived - said he was "kind of isolated."

"He kept to himself a lot of the time," she said. "He wasn't very social."


In the 2003-2004 school year, there were a rash of suicides at NYU, with five students jumping to their deaths - three in the course of five weeks. Another killed herself in Sept. 2004. In response, NYU sealed off all balconies and created the Wellness Exchange, which addresses mental health issues.
Let's prayer that there isn't a rash of copycat suicides in the coming weeks.

Putting Pressure On Iran

New sanctions on Iran (via)

"Dissolution of the IRS as we know it."

Yet another reason why I support Fred Thompson (via).

Clooney and girlfriend, Sarah Larson were in a motorcycle accident

They were trying to pass on the right on a motorcycle:

George Clooney suffered a broken rib and minor scrapes yesterday afternoon when a car collided with the motorcycle he was riding on Boulevard East, the actor's spokesman and police officials said.

Weehawken Police Sgt. Sean Kelly said the collision occurred at 3:30 p.m. as Clooney and friend Sarah Larson were traveling north on Boulevard East and sped up to pass on the right a 1999 Mazda Millenia that was preparing to make a right turn. The crash occurred between Bonn Place and King Avenue, said Jeff Welz, co-director of North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue.

Kelly said it is not known if the driver of the other vehicle, identified by police as Albert Ciancalepore, 27, of Weehawken, had used his turn signal. Ciancalepore told NBC-TV last night that he said he was trying to make a right-hand turn and Clooney cut him off.

"It's a he-said, she-said right now, but you can't pass on the right in Weehawken or anywhere in Jersey," Kelly said.

Everybody in NJ passes on the right, especially motorcycles.

Friday, September 21, 2007

An embarrassing gaffe or an embarrassing example of bad journalism?

Now, I will admit that Bush says some really dumb things sometimes but this report is just stupid:

In a speech defending his administration's Iraq policy, Bush said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's brutality had made it impossible for a unifying leader to emerge and stop the sectarian violence that has engulfed the Middle Eastern nation.

"I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas," Bush, who has a reputation for verbal faux pas, said in a press conference in Washington on Thursday.
James Taranto notes that when read in context it is clearly a metaphor:
Part of the reason why there is not this instant democracy in Iraq is because people are still recovering from Saddam Hussein's brutal rule. I thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, where's Mandela? Well, Mandela is dead, because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas. He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families, and people are recovering from this. So there's a psychological recovery that is taking place. And it's hard work for them. And I understand it's hard work for them. Having said that, I'm not going the give them a pass when it comes to the central government's reconciliation efforts.
Bush-haters may want to wait for the next gaffe, this one is making you guys look foolish.

The bridge to nowhere is now history

What took them so long to kill it?

Gov. Sarah Palin ordered state transportation officials Friday to abandoned the "bridge to nowhere" project that became a nationwide symbol of federal pork-barrel spending.

The $398 million bridge would have connected Ketchikan, on one island in southeastern Alaska, to its airport on another nearby island.

"Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer," Palin said in a news release.

She directed the transportation department to find the most "fiscally responsible" alternative for access to the airport.


Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young championed the project through Congress two years ago, securing more than $200 million for the bridge between Ketchikan, on Revillagigedo Island, and Gravina Island.

Under mounting political pressure over pork projects, Congress stripped the earmark — or stipulation — that the money be used for the airport, but still sent the money to the state for any use it deemed appropriate.

The state took much of that for other projects, and Palin said Friday the Ketchikan project was $329 million short of full funding.


This is the problem with Congress, they take out the project but send the money anyway. Sheesh! No wonder they lost the Senate and the House.

Jesse Adam Macbeth admits he is a fake and a liar

Men and women are dying in Iraq and this guy lives here in safety and maligns the job they are doing, tainting them in the eyes of the public and empowering our enemy.

A Washington man, whose claims to have slaughtered civilians as a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq were seen by millions on YouTube, admitted in federal court in Seattle today that he was a fake and a liar.

Jesse Adam Macbeth, 23, pleaded guilty to charges he faked his war record.

"He was in the Army for 40 days before he was kicked out of boot camp for being unfit," said U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan. "He was never in Iraq."
I agree that this would be a fitting punishment:
As a member of the military, I think this loser needs to be shipped to Iraq, dumped in the middle of no where, and be left to fend for himself. What a disgrace and a pathetic excuse for an american.

"She'd make a much better first lady than Bill Clinton"

Fred Thompson talking about his wife, Jeri:


Randy Pausch: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Randy Pausch is a Carnegie Mellon computer science professor who has created innovative software systems, interactive virtual worlds and designed theme park rides for Disney, is dying of pancreatic cancer. As part of a series of lectures that professors would give if they knew it would be their last, he gives his last lecture. I saw snippets of it here in a WSJ video report of the lecture. It was pretty brilliant. Here is the lecture in it's entirety -- 1 hour 44 minutes:

Giulaini's gun position has evolved

I guess if Romney can get away saying that his positions have evolved, why shouldn't Rudy try it? But do we believe him? Can we trust him that he will protect our rights?

Glossing over the less appealing line items on his gun control resume, ex-NYC mayor Rudy c presented himself as sympathetic to the aims of the National Rifle Association and pledged, as president, to protect gun rights.

"Your right to bear arms is based on a reasonable degree of safety," he said.

He indicated that he would oppose new efforts to tighten national gun laws.

"I believe that law endforcement should focus on enforcing the laws that exist on the books as opposed to passing new extensions of laws," he said. "A person's home is their castle. They have the right to protect themselves in their own home."

Giulaini explained the lawsuit he initiated in 2000 against gun manufacturers by saying that he was "excessive in everyway that I could think of in order to reduce crime" but said that "intervening events" like September 11th had caused his views to evolve. "I think that lawsuit has gone in the direction that I don't agree with."

Update: I don't think there's much chance of the gun owners accepting this change of heart and I don't think the other candidates will let him walk away from his record:
Second Amendment supporters say Rudy Giuliani's actions will speak louder than his words, when he addresses the National Rifle Association on Friday.

As Giuliani speaks, top officials from the gun industry will be in New York City, fighting a lawsuit the former mayor filed in 2000. The lawsuit seeks to hold firearms manufacturers responsible for the criminal misuse of their products.


"It's not surprising that Mr. Giuliani is now courting the firearms industry and the National Rifle Association -- whose members he has referred to as extremists," said Keane.

"His support for gun control and contempt for the manufacturers, retailers and purchasers of firearms may have gained him praise in Gotham, but that will only handicap him in the rest of the country. He understands this and is now trying to backpedal."

When he became the only Republican mayor to sue the firearms industry seven years ago (the announcement can now be seen on YouTube), Giuliani said he was doing so because the industry was "profiting from the suffering of innocent people." Giuliani said the lawsuit was intended to "end the free pass that the gun industry has so long enjoyed."

In 2005, when President Bush signed a bill barring lawsuits intended to bankrupt the gun industry, the Giuliani lawsuit was specifically mentioned as an example of the "junk" lawsuits the new law was intended to stop.


The National Rifle Association has invited Giuliani and other Republicans to a "celebration of American values" on Friday and Saturday. Most of the presidential hopefuls will be there -- among them, Sen. John McCain, who is planning to fire away at Giuliani's stance on guns.

Air bag saves man choking on an onion ring

A man is choking on an onion ring from Burger King and can't dislodge it. He passes out and when he wakes up, he discovers that he had hit a tree and that the air bag had dislodged the onion ring. Amazing! You can see the video report here.

Shooting at Delaware State University

The gunman is still on the loose:

Two students were shot at Delaware State University early Friday and police were searching for a gunman, officials said. Classes were canceled for the day.


Students, faculty and staff were instructed to stay in their buildings until further notice, according to the news release. Those not on campus were being told not to go there.

‘Darth’ Cheney to Hillary: ‘I Am Your Father’


Senate Condemns "General Betray Us" Ad

It was probably pretty hard for the Democrats to vote against their best interest this way. They were between a rock and hard place. Kudos to the Senators who voted for the troops at the expense of their base:

The Senate voted Thursday to condemn an advertisement by the liberal anti-war group that accused the top military commander in Iraq of betrayal.

The 72-25 vote condemned the full-page ad that appeared in The New York Times last week as Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, testified on Capitol Hill. The ad was headlined: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Cooking the books for the White House."


The resolution condemning the ad was sponsored by conservative Republican John Cornyn of Texas. Voting against it were Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, another contender for the Democratic nomination, did not vote, although he voted minutes earlier for an alternative resolution by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. That resolution condemned the MoveOn ad as an "unwarranted personal attack," but also condemned political attack ads that questioned the patriotism of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., both Vietnam veterans.

In a news conference, President Bush denounced the ad as "disgusting" and criticized Democrats for not immediately condemning it.

"And that leads me to come to this conclusion: that most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like, or more afraid of irritating them, then they are of irritating the United States military," Bush said Thursday.
If the Republicans were smart, they would run a campaign ad that noted that she voted against this resolution. They could put what Bush said and then note that she was more interested in the opinion of her base than the troops.