Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Westboro Update

Breaking News...

Father of slain marine won his case! Wow.

The brokenhearted father of a Marine killed in Iraq won a long-shot legal fight today after a federal jury in Baltimore awarded him nearly $11 million in a verdict against members of a Kansas church who hoisted anti-gay placards at his son's Westminster funeral.

[...]

The courtroom fight came down to whether Westboro had a legal right to demonstrate at the March 2006 funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder or whether the protesters crossed the line because their message impugned the grieving family's reputation and unlawfully invaded the Snyders' privacy.

The Marine's father from York, Pa., sued the church and three of its members for intentionally invading his privacy because his deceased son did not have that right any longer. For the claim to be successful, the jury needed to conclude that the church's actions at the funeral -- and later, in a posting about Matthew Snyder on its Web site -- were "highly offensive to a reasonable person," according to the jury instructions.
You can read more about it here.

Veronica Mars season 4 'pilot'

Have you seen the season four pilot for Veronica Mars? It makes me want to cry at what could have been! The season would have picked up after her graduation from college and Quantico. It looks like it would have been a really interesting season. Drat those no-nothing TV executives! Philistines! They know nothing of good acting and a decent story line.

Thompson: Drivers licenses for illegal aliens is a recipe for voter fraud

Thompson on the Clinton flip-flop:

“While Hillary Clinton was speaking out both sides of her mouth at last night’s debate over the issue of drivers licenses for illegal aliens, what went unsaid is that this is a recipe for increased voter fraud. Under the federal “Motor Voter” law (the National Voter Registration Act of 1993), states must provide applicants for drivers licenses with the opportunity to register to vote. “Giving legal drivers licenses to illegal immigrants is wrong and would provide them the opportunity to register to vote in our country. People who are not citizens of the United States should not be encouraged by pandering politicians to further break our laws and risk the health of our political system.”
It will be nice to have a president who is actually strong on illegal immigration.

TNR: Democrats don't have what it takes to govern?

Yeah, I agree :-)

"Forget 'liberal': Given a few more weeks like the ones congressional Democrats just endured, and the dreaded L-word they'll be struggling to shake is 'losers.' Children's health care, government spying, the atrocities of the Ottoman Empire, the toxic ramblings of Representative Pete Stark -- you name the issue, Dems managed to get their clocks cleaned in the p.r. battle with a fractured Republican minority led by a lame-duck president only marginally more popular with the American public than Chinese toy manufacturers.... [W]hat in God's name is wrong with congressional Dems? It's one thing to lose all your battles when you're the beleaguered minority crushed beneath the boot heel of a well-liked commander-in-chief and a power-mad congressional majority. But, when you can't manage to win even one lousy spin cycle under the current politically felicitous circumstances, voters are going to start wondering if you simply don't have what it takes to govern -- if perhaps you really do deserve that 25 percent approval rating" -- from an editorial in the latest New Republic magazine.

"Your arm is not a memo pad!"

You buy them paper. date books, assignment books, postit notes and they still use their arm to write down the name of a song they want to look up.

Can Apple refuse cash for their iPhones?

There was some question over the legality of Apple refusing to accept cash for their iPhones but apparently they are able to refuse cash:

It turns out that the U.S. Treasury takes an extremely literal view of the language on every Federal Reserve Note saying it is "legal tender for all debts, public and private." If you owe someone money, the law says they must accept greenbacks in payment. But, says the Treasury Web site: "There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services."
But they are on shakier ground for refusing their own gift cards (as reported by Engaget) which do not exclude iPhone in the "terms and conditions."

Related Post:
Apple no longer accepting cash for iPhone

Happy Reformation Day!

To my fellow Protestants! What is Reformation Day? It's the day we celebrate Martin Luther nailing his 95 Thesis to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31st, 1517 which began the Protestant Reformation.

What are your celebration plans? I plan to celebrate by giving out candy to children who come to my house requesting treats :-)

MSNBC: Clinton flip-flops on illegal alien driver's license

It's not flip-flopping, it's nuance! I think it's funny that Dodd's sensible answer caused Clinton to change her answer:

“ This is a privilege,'' Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said. “And look, I'm as forthright and progressive on immigration policy as anyone here, but we're dealing with a serious problem here. We need to have people come forward. The idea that we're going to extend this privilege here of a driver's license, I think, is troublesome. And I think the American people are reacting to it. ''

Clinton attempted to clarify her own response: “I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Gov. Spitzer is trying to do it. And we have failed....

“Wait a minute,'' Dodd interrupted. “No, no, no. You said yes, you thought it made sense to do it.

“No, I didn't, Chris,'' Clinton said. “But the point is, what are we going to do with all these illegal immigrants who are (driving )?''

“Well, that's a legitimate issue,'' Dodd said. “But driver's license goes too far, in my view. ''

“ Well, you may say that,'' Clinton said, “but what is the identification if somebody runs into you today who is an undocumented worker?'

“What Gov. Spitzer has agreed to do is to have three different licenses, one that provides identification for actually going onto airplanes and other kinds of security issues, another which is an ordinary driver's license, and then a special card that identifies the people who would be on the road,'' the senator from New York said.

It certainly sounds like she supports it to me.

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Prayer request for Greek Quiz

Please pray that I will be able to translate the verse on the quiz.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trading in Fairy Wings for Fishnets

In 1934 Cole Porter penned these words:
"In olden days
A glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking.
Now Heaven knows...anything goes."

My, oh my if only Mr. Porter (no great conservative himself) could've foreseen how
prophetic his words would be.

Thirty years ago when I went Trick or Treating with my friends we dressed like brides, witches, 50's girls, and the ever popular bum. We went around the house looking for whatever we could pull together. None of our moms would've dreamed of spending $25-$50 for special costumes, and certainly not of this er, um, caliber. How did we ever manage to have fun?

Today's Washington Post features an excellent article on the Skankitization of Halloween. Let's keep in mind that most of these costumes are marketed toward girls...young girls.

And outside, it's America.

Paulians make your opinion count

And take Laura Ingraham's poll:

Which of GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul's key views most closely track your own?
So far getting out of Iraq isn't even close. The biggest vote getter so far is shutting down the borders (which is to be expected from Ingrah's audience). I voted for abolishing the IRS :-)

Video: Cheerleader Trampled by Football Players

Oh, the poor girl! She must be soooo embarrassed. They played the clip over and over again.


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Hippie Museum earmark removed

Looks like the hippies will have to find someone else to fund their museum. The Senate voted to remove Clinton and Schumer's earmark:

This month, in a mostly party-line 52-42 vote, Coleman voted with the majority to strip the $1 million earmark sought by New York Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer, both Democrats. In another tie to the past, Coleman and Schumer attended high school together in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, just a few years before Woodstock.

Cheney hunts at a gun club and the press tries to create a controversy

The Daily News takes a picture of a confederate flag in the garage of the club and then show it to Sharpton. Notice where the club is located.

Vice President Dick Cheney spent about eight hours hunting Monday at a secluded Hudson Valley gun club where well-heeled enthusiasts shoot ducks and pheasants.

It was Cheney's second visit to Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club in Dutchess County, about 70 miles north of New York City. The previous trip was in fall 2001.

Although a heavy police presence kept the media and curious local residents at a distance, Cheney's visit did stir up a bit of controversy when a New York Daily News photographer snapped a picture of a small Confederate flag hanging inside a garage on the hunt club property.

The photo was shown to New York City civil rights activist, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who issued a statement demanding that the vice president "leave immediately, denounce the club and apologize for going to a club that represents lynching, hate and murder to black people."

Teens call 911 as dad drives 100 mph drunk

He got drunk while they were picking pumpkins. It's amazing to me how selfish parents can be and how they don't think about the impact of their actions on their kids.


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Congress at war over everything

And I thought Pelosi was going to reach out across the aisle to work in cooperation with the Republicans. Instead of compromise they tried to embarrass Republicans into voting for their bill, fortunately it didn't work:

In a closed-door meeting before the last vote on the children’s health care bill, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer appealed for the support of about 30 wavering Republican lawmakers. What he got instead was a tongue-lashing, participants said.

The GOP lawmakers, all of whom had expressed interest in a bipartisan deal on the SCHIP legislation, were furious that the Democratic leader from Maryland had not reached out to them in a more serious way early on. They also criticized him and Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois for failing to stop his allies outside Congress from running attack ads in their districts, while they were discussing a bipartisan deal.

The result was a predictable one for this bitterly divided Congress. The House vote for a second SCHIP bill was a healthy majority, but not the two-thirds needed to override another veto vowed by President Bush. Only one Republican switched his vote — to oppose the measure.

Democrats accused Republicans of hurting kids. Republicans howled about a heavy-handed, uncompromising Democratic majority. And another chance at bipartisan consensus slipped away.

“They spent $1.5 million through their various shill outreach groups attacking me and a handful of my colleagues,” Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.) said before the Hoyer meeting, “but they did not spend five minutes to approach me to ask for my vote.”

Monday, October 29, 2007

Craiglist Murder

Wow! This is scary and sad:

A woman who went to inquire about a nanny job advertised online was found dead in the trunk of her car, police said.

The body of Katherine Ann Olson, 24, was found in her car at a Burnsville park late Friday, Police Capt. David Muelken said. She was last seen by friends Thursday morning, when she went to meet someone in Savage about a nanny job. Investigators said she had found the ad on the Internet bulletin board Craigslist.org.

A 19-year-old Savage man who police believe placed the ad was being held pending charges, police said. Authorities did not release his name but said charges could be filed as soon as Sunday.

Vote for the Scariest Democrat

Here (I bet you can guess who is winning :-)

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Parisian intelligentsia objects to move to suburbs

The intelligentsia does not want to move in the same neighborhood with the proletariat because there is not enough bourgeoisie (sorry but the article screams out for Marxist language).

“When you mix politics and religion, you get politics”

These are the words of someone who fought the battle over abortion for years but has seen very little fruit from his efforts:

“I thought in my enthusiasm,” he told me with a smile, “that somehow we could band together and change things politically and everything will be fine.” But the closing of Dr. Tiller’s clinic was fleeting. Electing Christian politicians never seemed to change much.
It's made him retrospect about other battles:
In more recent battles, Carlson has hung back. On the Sunday before the referendum on a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Carlson reminded his congregation that homosexuality was hardly the only form of sex the Bible condemned. Any extramarital sex is a sin, he told his congregation, so they should not point fingers.

“We wouldn’t want to exclude some group because we thought their sin was worse than ours,” Carlson told me with a laugh.
But not all:
Carlson is a registered Republican, though he now considers himself an independent. He volunteered that he now leans left on some social-welfare issues and the environment. He considers himself among the “green evangelicals” who see a biblical mandate for government action to stop global warming.
One of the things I finds fascinating about the excellent (and quite long) article in the magazine section of the NY Times is that those Evangelicals who criticize the Christian right for aligning themselves with Republicans appear to be quick to align themselves with Democrat politicians. Aren't they doing the same exact thing? Isn't this pastor following into the same trap that he fell into with the Republicans? Didn't he learn from his own error?

Why does the church feel the need to push politicians to solve the problems of the world? Why doesn't the church realize that it has the power to help those in need? Why doesn't the church try to change minds instead of instituting policy? We can do something about abortion as this church has discovered:
These days, Westlink has found less confrontational ways to oppose abortion, mainly by helping to pay for a medical center called Choices. Housed in a cozy-looking white-shingled cottage next to Dr. Tiller’s bunkerlike abortion facility, Choices discourages women from ending pregnancies by offering 3-D ultrasound scans and adoption advice.

Carlson’s protégé and successor, Todd Carter, 42, said: “I don’t believe the problem of abortion will be solved by overturning Roe v. Wade. It won’t. To me, it is a Gospel issue.”
Though I do realize the importance of a pro-life president and the need to over turn Roe v. Wade, I do agree with Todd Carter that it is a gospel issue.

The church needs to realize that we can do more than we are doing. We can do something about the poor and the under insured if we decide not to sit back and allow the government to be more Christlike than us.

Huckbee demonstrates why he isn't loved by fiscal conservatives

Huckabee demonstrates that he doesn't get why lower taxes are important:

“In biblical terms, it is like the salt losing its flavor; it’s sand,” Huckabee said. “Some of them have spent too long in Washington. . . . I think they are going to have a hard time going out into the pews and saying tax policy is what Jesus is about, that he said, ‘Come unto me all you who are overtaxed and I will give you rest.’ ”
Excuse me, but what the heck do you call it when the middle class and the lower class vote for politicians who promise to take money from the rich and give it to them? I call that stealing and we all know what God says about that.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Impeach Bush Socks

Not very effective but I bet it makes them feel better. They let everyone know how they feel and that's the important thing.

Put Congress on a Constitutional Work Schedule

I agree! That sounds like a good idea, they wouldn't be so tuckered out and could get a real job in the mean time.

Thompson going strong in GA

Even though many pundits think he's a dud, he appears to have growing support in GA.
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Interview with Doug Pagett

Really taking that pomo thing to the extreme here. Heaven isn't a place? Pretty nutty! (The interview starts about 5 minutes into the recording.)

I really felt sorry for the interviewer but I think he did a pretty good job trying to come at it from every angle he could. I haven't heard such a contentious guest since Hewitt tried to interview Andrew Sullivan.

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The LA Times has got to be kidding

This is what passes for journalism today? I read the first couple paragraphs and then stopped because I didn't want to waste any more of my valuable time than that on it. So, when does the paper do an indepth story on Hillary's time as a lawyer in Arkansas?

For those of you who aren't interested in following the link long enough to see what it's about here's a snippet:

The case appeared to be open and shut.

The county sheriff had been caught selling an illegal whiskey still from the back of the county jail. The buyers were a federal informant and an undercover federal investigator. The sheriff, to elude honest police, had even escorted the illegal still out of town.

But for Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Thompson, few cases would prove easy.

Today, as a Republican candidate for president, Thompson is cultivating an image as a tough prosecutor who, like the character he played on TV's "Law & Order," battled powerful criminals during his three-year stint as a prosecutor.

He was "attacking crime and public corruption," boasts a video played at his campaign events. During a candidate debate this month, Thompson said he spent those years "prosecuting most of the major federal crimes in middle Tennessee -- most of the major ones."

But a review of the 88criminal cases Thompson handled at the U.S. attorney's office in Nashville, from 1969 to 1972, reveals a different and more human portrait -- that of a young lawyer learning the ropes on routine cases involving gambling, mail theft and, in one instance, talking dirty on CB radio.

There were a few bank robbers and counterfeiters. But more than anything, Thompson took on the state's moonshiners and a local culture, rooted in Tennessee's hills and hollows, that celebrated the independent whiskey maker's battle against the government's revenue agents.

Twenty-seven of his cases involved moonshining -- more than any other crime.
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Ron Paul's NH Commercial

He's got $5 million, why can't he afford better actors? And if these are real people, I'm not buying it. They don't sound convincing and if you have to make a commercial like this, you know that the candidate is a little outside the norm (to say the least).


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Leopard vs. Vista

A feature comparison chart.

Apple no longer accepting cash for iPhone

If you want to buy an iPhone for you sweetie for Christmas, better bring your credit or debit card because they will not accept cash:

Apple Inc. no longer accepts cash for iPhone purchases and now limits sales of the cell phone to two per person in a move to stop people from reselling them.

The new policy started Thursday, said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. Before then, there was no cash restriction and the purchase limit was five per person.

[...]

Apple thinks some people already have purchased multiple iPhones to resell, including those looking to modify, or "unlock," the phones so they work on networks other than Apple's carrier partner in the United States, AT&T Inc.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fred Thompson for President. Or not. Whatever.

Hehe! I think it's a pretty good campaign slogan. It might even get the teenage vote :-)

Miss England told to fatten up

Miss England has to gain weight in time for the Miss World pageant. She's not model thin and wears a size 4 but she's a little flat chested. They want a contestant with more curves.

A British beauty queen says she was told to pack on pounds for the upcoming Miss World competition — an unexpected request, considering she's not rail-thin. "I was a little bit shocked," Miss England Georgia Horsley said Friday in an interview on NBC's "Today" show.

"I don't think I'm too thin. I'm happy with the way I am," said the 20-year-old, who is a size 4. She added: "I probably would have been more hurt if they told me to lose weight, I think."

Horsley said pageant organizers want "their girls to be more voluptuous and womanly and curvy, you know, rather than the stick-thin, size-0 models that you see around."

"I've just got quite more of an athletic, boyish-type figure rather than the hourglass figure that some women have," said the 5-foot-8 Horsley. "And they're just seeing if, you know, I could maybe put a bit of weight on and it might give me those curves."

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She should be happy with the way she looks, she's gorgeous!

Well, at least they didn't tell her to get plastic surgery.

House Democarts plan a shorter work week

Even though they promised to work harder and longer than the Republican controlled congress. I guess this is just one more campaign promise that they've decided to break. How are you going to believe anything they say in 2008?

Shortly after winning a majority last year, Democrats triumphantly declared that they would put Congress back to work, promising an “end to the two-day workweek.” And indeed, the House has clocked more time in Washington this year than in any other session since 1995, when Republicans, newly in control, sought to make a similar point.

But 10 months into the session, with their legislative agenda often in gridlock with the Bush administration and a big election year looming, the Democrats are now planning a lighter schedule when the 110th Congress begins its second year in mid-January.

The House majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, told fellow Democrats this week that the House would not be in session next year on Fridays, except in June for work on appropriations bills.

Explaining that decision to reporters, Mr. Hoyer said, “I do intend to have more time for members to work in their districts and to be close to their families.”

His comments drew snickers from Republicans, who are quite happy to share their view that the American people did not get much value for all the extra time lawmakers spent in Washington.

Is this a reward for our accomplishments in 2007?” asked Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the Republican whip.

[...]

On Wednesday, the House cast its one-thousandth roll-call vote of the year, the first time that it reached that mark since the Constitution was ratified. Democrats hailed the occasion, while Republicans sniped that only 106 of the votes were on bills ultimately signed into law, and that 45 of those bestowed names on post offices or other property.

Righty blogs by state

The guys at Redstate put together a very useful listing of right leaning blogs listed by state. So, if you were looking for a NJ blog, you might be interested in this one.

Very helpful! Thanks to the guys at Redstate for listing the Reformed Chicks.

You know what freaks me out?

When I get quoted in places like this. How weird is that?

Brian McLaren, Songwriter

So, Brian McLaren has written some songs of praise to be used in worship services. Here's a video explaining the concept and the thought behind each of the songs.


I commend him for his desire to broaden the scope of Christian praise music to include current events -- he wrote songs that are relevant to Christians today. I like that he's taken themes like kindness, justice, and the poor (it's a song of prayer for the rich and the poor) and made them into songs. These are themes that the Christian should focus on and contemplate what they look like in their own life. Though this one is a little wacky he appears to be confirming that God is sovereign over all. And this one is a song that I would love to sing in church because it's so Christ centered and this one is pretty good too.

Some of the songs are gratuitous and I probably wouldn't bother singing it if the music director forced it on us and I totally don't agree with this one.

Here's the video of one of his more controversial songs. He's using "atheist" in a similar way that the Roman government did when Christians refused to worship Caesar:


Knowing that McClaren has problems with the doctrines of grace I would have a problem with this caricature of it and wouldn't want to sing it during the service:
I am an atheist when it comes to the view of the chosen few, who judge and condemn
all who differ them.
What we really believe in is a chosen multitude and the truthfulness of word of God:
Ephesians 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands
BTW, I have a suggestion for those who intend to sing these songs in worship, don't repeat these stanzas as many times as suggested:
I can’t believe what they believe but I believe in you (4X)
I can’t believe what they believe but I believe in you (4X)
Too repetitive!

Westboro Church Being Sued

The father of a fallen soldier is suing the Westboro Baptist church for picketing his son's funeral.

They wanted their message heard, and they didn't care who they stepped over," Snyder testified on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. "My son should have been buried with dignity, not with a bunch of clowns outside."
Good for him! I think it is despicable what this man was subjected to by these so called "Christians". I'm surprised it took this long for someone to sue them.

Here's what is at stake:
Judge Richard D. Bennett, who is hearing the case, told the nine jurors that there are limits on free speech protection, listing categories that include vulgar, offensive and shocking statements and instructed jurors to decide "whether the defendant's actions would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, whether they were extreme and outrageous and whether these actions were so offensive and shocking as to not be entitled to First Amendment protection," according to the AP.
Vulgar, highly offensive, shocking, that pretty much sums up what this "church" has been saying for way too long. I hope this jury sees that this kind of speech needs no protection of the First Amendment. How about the protection of this father who in his grief, had to endure such speech?

I'll be watching for the verdict which should be sometime next week, I'll post it here.
Free speech does have limits and I hope that the jury returns a guilty verdict.

GODSurfer

Another Digg-type Christian site.

Daylight savings does not start this weekend

Do not set your clock back or you will be too early for church tomorrow morning. Daylight savings starts next weekend not this weekend.

How to be more “Biblically masculine”

Amen, brother! I would add try humility. I'm tired of arrogance masquerading as masculinity.

Spiritual Secrets

Manya Brachear of The Seeker posts some of the spiritual secrets from PostSecret. I'm not sure I buy this one:

"I’m an editor for a large online atheist newsletter--and I believe in God."
If it's true, I wonder if he/she doesn't want to give up his/her connections and income now that he/she no longer believes in atheism (and yeah, as much as you protest it, it is a belief system, that's why it's been categorized as a religion). I wonder how many Christians do the same thing.

(via)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rangel's Tax Increase "Dead on Arrival" in the Senate

According to Mitch McConnell (who should know :-)

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Some great books on sale at Westminster Bookstore

They're having their final big sale so go check out the great titles they have listed (remember you help a struggling seminarian afford her textbooks when you use my link).

Is it censorship or is it a protection of innocence?

Quite a bruhaha has erupted regarding the assigned reading of Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides in a West Virginia AP English class.
Those in favor say that the book's graphic description of rape is only one small (though necessary) part of the story.
Those who oppose it say that such a brutal telling of delicate subject matter isn't necessary in a high school classroom.

I have not read the book in its entirety, but I have read the excerpt in question, and I'd like to sandpaper that image out of my brain.
So while I understand the importance of freedom of speech I must say that if the segment I read is typical, I would not want it assigned as mandatory reading. Even in high school. Even in an advanced program.

How on earth did teachers manage to find challenging literature for college-bound students prior to the 1986 publication of this book?
Why does the author of this book need to describe Americans as "teacher haters" and dissenting parents as "know nothings"?

Why do we need to remove every last smidgen of innocence from the minds of our teens before they reach adulthood?

I'm thinking it sounds like Romney

What do you think?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bush offers to bomb Kurds

EEP! I know they struck our ally, Turkey but really, this is not good news:

THE Bush Administration is considering air strikes, including cruise missiles, against the Kurdish rebel group PKK in northern Iraq.

The move would be an attempt to stave off a Turkish invasion of that country to fight the rebels.

President George Bush spoke with Turkish President Abdullah Gul by phone yesterday in an effort to ease the crisis.

And Prime Minister John Howard says the tensions on the Turkey-Iraq border will not help the west's battle for democracy in Iraq.

Mr Howard said there was some recent evidence that US forces were making headway in their battle against al-Qaeda in Iraq following the US troop surge.

"There is some evidence in recent weeks that the surge has been more successful than many of its critics wanted it to be or believe it would be," Mr Howard told an army land warfare conference in Adelaide today.
This sounds much better to me:
Another option would be to persuade the Kurdistan Regional Government, which runs that part of Iraq, to order its Peshmerga forces to form a cordon preventing the movement of the PKK beyond its mountain camps.
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Bill Clinton Takes On 9/11 Conspiracy Protesters

You can view the video here. Here is what he said:

"A fraud? No, it wasn't a fraud," Clinton said, as the crowd cheered him on. "I'll be glad to talk to you if you shut up and let me talk."

When another heckler shouted that the attacks were an "inside job," Clinton took even greater umbrage.

"An inside job? How dare you. How dare you. It was not an inside job," Clinton said. "You guys have got to be careful, you're going to give Minnesota a bad reputation."
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First Maher and now Clinton, it's good that the Democrats are standing up to these nuts.

3 Christian Bloggers Endorse Huckabee

Pretty significant pick up of Joe Carter, Matthew Anderson and Justin Taylor:

For several months we have admired the scrappy campaign of Gov. Huckabee but believed it would be a wasted effort to support him with our time, energy, and finances. We bought into the notion that he could never get the GOP nomination since conservative voters would not support him. And the reason we were told conservative voters would never support him is because he could not get the nomination. To quote John Piper (from a different context), "It’s like the army being defeated because there aren’t enough troops, and the troops won’t sign up because the army’s being defeated."
They make a pretty compelling case for why conservatives should vote for Huckabee. And no, they didn't convince me. I know that Huckabee isn't a federalist and I am. He believes that government can be the solution to problems and I believe government is the problem, not the solution. And though they believe that Huckabee is the antitheses of Bush, I believe he is the next iteration of Bush. He is a more articulate Bush and I don't want four more years of Bush.

Though, Huckabee is my backup candidate in case Thompson's campaign implodes.

This is what pro-life looks like on the Democrat side

Remember it when you vote next time.

Rangel proposes a 4% surcharge on those making over 200,000!

If the Democrats win the trifecta next year, expect this tax to become law. I can't see how this is a winning strategy. Do you really think you aren't paying enough in taxes? I hope the Republicans will use the fact that they are being up front about their tax and spend policy.

Rangel said the broader measure, which he has called the ``mother of all reforms,'' would contain a 4 percent tax-rate surcharge on adjusted gross income over $200,000 for married couples. The surcharge would rise to 4.6 percent for those with income of more than $500,000. In addition, households with income of more than $200,000 would have to pay rates as high as 19.6 percent on capital gains and dividends, instead of the current rate of 15 percent.

That provision alone would raise $831.7 billion, more than enough to cover the cost of eliminating the minimum tax, Rangel said.

The overhaul, which he said wouldn't be voted on this year, also lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 30.5 percent. To pay for that $363.84 billion tax cut, the proposal would repeal a special 32 percent tax rate for manufacturers and disallow the ``last-in, first-out'' accounting method that reduces taxes for businesses such as oil companies, wholesalers and automakers that hold inventory.

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Joe Carter dumps Thompson!

Well, can't say that I blame him. Thompson is a low key candidate and certainly not what we thought we were getting. He doesn't act like he really wants the nomination, so it makes sense to switch to someone who is actually campaigning for the job but I'm sticking with him because he is the candidate that would best represent my views. I'm not going to sweat a candidacy that's in it's infancy. If he really doesn't look like he's picking up his game before the NJ primary, I can vote for someone else.

BTW, I bet you can guess who he's switching to!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Casting Stones

Well, I'm now a political pundit. I've been asked to join beliefnet's new political blog, Casting Stones and today is our first day of debates. So, go check it out!

BTW, if you were wondering what I look like today (well, yesterday) you will find a picture of me there.

TNR internal documents disprove Beauchamp's story

Drudge has the evidence.

It's evident that The New Republic learned nothing from the Glass episode. Why would anyone believe anything they report? Obviously their fact checkers stink!

The New Atheist Symbol

It looks like a capital @. It would make an interesting necklace. If I were an atheist, I would wear it.

Susan, I feel your pain!

It can be so frustrating to know that you did everything that you could do and yet it wasn't good enough. Just know that you are far ahead of those who took algebra all those years ago and remember nothing!

But more importantly, remember that you have the the mind of Christ:

1 Corinthians 2:16 "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
And wisdom that comes from God:
1 Corinthians 1:30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
And that is so much more valuable than algebra (though math is very important as I keep telling my Sarah).

I'm praying for you as well. I know that you will persevere because you know how important it is to demonstrate to your daughters the importance of facing your failure and not allowing it to defeat you or stand in the way of your goals.

Nothing's Ever Easy

Wish I had this button to push yesterday while I was taking my algebra I final.

I just found out that I failed the course. Totally bombed the final.

I am so frustrated (and tearful) because I really, really tried my best. Only to find out that my best produced failure. Talk about humiliation.

However, I will not give up. I remain determined. Though I feel beaten down right now, I know that character is built through perseverance, so persevere I must.

So, I am retaking the class starting tomorrow. In the providence of God, there was another class available in the same time slot as my other class that still had seats open. This is such a blessing because I don't have to re-arrange my family's schedule. How cool is that?

Giuliani dodges question

I'm afraid that the Republican party is a little too sophisticated to allow politicians to get a away with superficial answers. We want specifics especially since there are so many other candidates to choice from. We don't just want to beat Hilliary, we want a good president who represents or views and holds to our principles.

Republican Rudy Giuliani declined Tuesday to tell a voter where he agrees and disagrees with conservative members of his party, saying it's about more than "just an ideology."

The former New York City mayor, who has made conservative Republicans nervous with some of his more liberal views _ his support of abortion rights and gun control, for example _ was asked pointedly at a town-hall-style meeting to outline where his views align with conservatives.

Giuliani chuckled, took a deep breath and then told the questioner it was up to him to figure that out.

"And I ask you to consider doing that, not as a conservative Republican, or as a right-wing something or a left-wing something or a middle-wing something or a tailback," Giuliani said. "Why don't you try doing it as an American voter? Figure out what you agree with and disagree with."

The voter, Peter Sajko, nodded politely as Giuliani went on, describing his record as mayor of New York City, where crime declined and unemployment went down.

"To try to analyze it from the point of view of just an ideology _ a few people do that, but basically my hero was Ronald Reagan, and Ronald Reagan used to say 'My 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy,'" Giuliani said.

Sajko, a 55-year-old registered Republican, said afterward he was not satisfied with the response.

"I think it was 'Let's dodge the bullet here, let's not deal with specifics but let's bring up Ronald Reagan and appeal to the charisma and nostalgia for Ronald Reagan and let's carry it over to Rudy Giuliani,'" Sajko said.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Debate between Jim Wallis and Richard Land

Here's a video with a few snippets from each side of the debate. It appears to be a brilliantly edited video with each side getting to the heart of the issue (I say appears because I didn't see the debate so I don't know what was left out but what is there is quite interesting and I think makes a good case for each side).

Rep. Pete Stark apologizes to the president for his remarks

Kind of a weird apology:

"I want to apologize to my colleagues, many of whom I have offended," Stark began. He then apologized to "the president and his family" and "the troops."

"I hope that with this apology, I return to being as insignificant as I should be," he concluded though a voice cracking with emotion.

(via)

Boehner introduced a censure resolution that was defeated by the Democrats. I guess Democrats think it's OK to say something like this on the floor of the House:
"You don't have money to fund the war or children," Stark said on the House floor. "But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."
(via)

Comcast blogging Gnutella, Lotus Notes and the Bible!

Not only is Comcast blocking BitTorrent packets but they're blocking Gnutella and Lotus Note packets as well.

And the Bible!

If I had Comcast, I probably would have dropped them by now. It's nobody's business how I use my bandwidth. Charge a higher rate for excessive bandwidth usage but don't mess with service!

What's happened to Evangelical Outpost???

It looks like Joe Carter didn't renew his domain name.

“He’s not running for Toastmasters”

Ouch!

BTW, I'm not sure why “it’s important that the language of Zion is a mother tongue and not a recently acquired second language." We are electing a president not a pastor. My pastor needs to speak the "language of Zion" my president needs to speak the language of DC.

Huckabee wins the Value Voters Straw Poll and yet....

The Arlington group has decided that there really is no clear choice of who to vote for:

Several conservative leaders yesterday concluded that none of the principal Republican presidential hopefuls deserves their support, not even Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist minister.

"There was no consensus on candidates, no agreement, period," a participant confided after the meeting, held at the Washington Hilton one day after several of their groups participated in a "Values Voters" summit at that hotel.

Then, referring to Mr. Huckabee, he said, "He's finished, I think. Bad things will be coming out about him," referring to long-standing accusations surrounding Mr. Huckabee's clemency for a rapist who later murdered someone in another state.

[...]

One major figure on the Christian Right who was considered a behind-the-scenes backer of former Tennessee Gov. Fred Thompson, said at yesterday's closed-door session that he simply didn't think any of the major Republican hopefuls could pass "the straight-face test" when it comes to commitment to Christian principles.

[...]

At a meeting of social-conservative leaders hours later Saturday, a consensus could not be reached on which of the top five Republicans to support for the Republican nomination. Mr. Huckabee garnered the most support among the two dozen leaders at that closed-door meeting.
What the heck is up with these Christians that they refuse to support someone who shares their values? Isn't it supposed to be about principle not pragmatism? Why wasn't the support stronger for Huckabee?

Update: The Romney supporters are disputing the Huckabee win, check the comments to find out why.

Stupid MSM question answered brilliantly by the Laura Bush

It's nice to have such a gracious first lady:

ROBERTS: I recently talked with Thomas Friedman of the Washington Post and also Archbishop Tutu. And Thomas Friedman said, you know, we should export hope instead of fear. Desmond Tutu went even farther, saying the generosity of Americans, that's what we should export, instead of our bombs. So, is this a way of reaching across to the world and saying, especially in this region of the world--

BUSH: Absolutely. In these countries, the United Arab Emirates is a very strong friend and ally to the United States, as is Kuwait and, you know, the other-- Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the other countries that I'll be visiting, are our allies. But you're right and Thomas Friedman's right and Desmond Tutu is right. And in fact, we do export our generosity. We just need to get the word out about it.
(via)

I would have gone off on the reporter and asked her what the heck were we supposed to do when attacked? Send them money? And what the heck does this reporter think we're doing in Africa? Haven't we spent billions on AIDS relief under President Bush? Laura Bush is right, we need to get it out there that we are generous even during a time of war. Hey, MSM! Do your job! Get the word out.

Mike Huckabee received a celebrity endorsement...

Chuck Norris!

Since half the voters say they won't vote for Clinton...

I'm not buying this poll:

  • Rudy Giuliani 48%
  • Hillary Clinton 47%
  • Hillary Clinton 51%
  • Fred Thompson 43%
  • John McCain 50%
  • Hillary Clinton 43%
  • Hillary Clinton 49%
  • Mitt Romney 42%
  • Hillary Clinton 49%
  • Mike Huckabee 38%
  • Hillary Clinton 51%
  • Ron Paul 34%
Related Post:
This is the Democrats' front-runner?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thompson responds to his critics

He's running it the way he thinks it should be run and isn't too interested in the criticism:

Earlier in the day, Thompson visited a flower shop in Celebration, Fla., and defended his campaign work schedule in an interview with The Associated Press. He said his strategy is working and "I'm going to do it the way I want to do it."

His absences in early-voting states have been noticed. Thompson hasn't been in South Carolina in more than a month, he scrapped a recent trip to New Hampshire and then canceled a news conference Saturday in Florida.

"You can name a lot of places that I haven't been, and you can name a lot of places that I have been several times," Thompson said.

"I've been to Florida three or four times," he said. "The mainstream media, with all due respect, likes to concentrate on the process game on a daily basis, and I can't get caught up in that. I'm going to do it the way I want to do it."

Thompson pointed out he comes in second among Republicans in most national polls and has more than 100,000 contributors despite making some decisions that defy conventional wisdom.

In the interview, as he traveled from Celebration to Tampa, Thompson said he has never behaved as candidates traditionally do.

"Some experts, I think, probably expected me to be slicker and better-scripted than I am," said Thompson, a TV and movie actor. "Ironically, I don't follow a script well."
It makes me nervous but I think he knows what he's doing since he's run successful campaigns in the past. His campaign for Senate was unorthodox and left him open for criticism and yet he prevailed. I hope he can do so again.

GPS tracker jackets keep track of kids

Man! The parents in Britain are paranoid!

The asset's coordinates are longitude -0.098610, latitude 51.519699. At least that's what the read-out on my computer screen says. I've never heard my son, Robbie, described as an asset before, but I guess there's a first time for anything. Two minutes later, I get an update. He's barely moved, since he's walking at an unbelievable 1.1 mph. It's definitely him. No one else can dawdle like that. I switch the screen over to a Google Earth satellite map and follow his return to the building.

Robbie is wearing one of the first GPS tracker jackets, launched this week in the UK by Blade Runner, the clothing manufacturer that specialises in equipment for the police and security services and which recently brought out the first school uniform in slash-proof Kevlar, in partnership with Asset Monitoring Solutions (AMS), a market leader in tracking and security technologies.

[...]

The small rechargeable device - it has a 15-hour battery - fits neatly into a pouch inside the jacket. You switch it on when you leave the house and what you get is nothing less than the ability to know where someone is - within four square metres - anywhere in the world. You can watch them move, check where they've been and get updates every 10 seconds. You don't even need to be permanently logged on to your computer, as you can have email alerts sent to your Blackberry or text messages to your mobile.
(via)

It's £250 and you can buy a Kevlar lining for 80 more and it will cost 10 a month extra for the satellite tracking.

Related Post:
Kevlar-Lined School Uniforms

Thompson making up for past gaffes in Florida

Repairing the damage he did the last time he was in Florida. I liked this answer to the Schiavo question:

"It's an intentionally personal thing with me. Decision needs to be made by the family. I was at that bedside, I had to make those decisions with the rest of my family. And I will assure you one things, no matter which decision you make, you will never know whether or not you made the right decision, so making this into a political football is something I don't welcome and this will probably be the last time I ever address it," Thompson said.
I'm bummed that he won't consider drilling in the Everglades (sorry but we need to get rid of our dependence on foreign oil - I can't see Canada getting rich off of our oil money :-)

And this is pretty funny:

Bristling at a reporter's question about his performance on the campaign trail, Thompson said he is not concerned about polls or the mixed reviews of his campaign. He says he believes the race for the nomination is fluid and there's still "lots of travel to be done" between now and next year's early voting season.

"'President' Howard Dean can tell you, things can change within a matter of days, as far as places like Iowa and other places that are going to be early primary states,"

[...]

"These other guys have been running for two years and one of the guys spent $50 million dollars, and they're apparently not asking him why he's so low in the national polls, but they're asking me why I am only second?" Thompson said.
(via)

Woman spent 70 years incarcerated for stealing 25 cents

This has got to be the most depressing news story ever!

A British woman who spent 70 years incarcerated for stealing about 25 cents -- crime she didn't commit -- died shortly after a tearful reunion with her family.

Jean Gambell was falsely accused of stealing the equivalent of about 25 cents in 1937 and was declared a “feeble-minded person” under England's 1890 Lunacy Act, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

Although the missing money was later found, Gambell, who was 15 at the time of her incarceration, was shuffled between mental institutions for nearly three quarters of a century.

The woman's brother, David Gambell, said he stumbled by chance upon evidence that his sister was alive and tracked her to a care home in Macclesfield, England.
Hot Air called it, "The story Kafka never got to write"

Giuliani supports the gay marriage amendment???

Speaking of pandering, is Giuliani planning to throw his principles under the bus and support the gay marriage amendment?

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, told The Hill Saturday that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) would support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Perkins said Giuliani told him in a private meeting that if the Defense of Marriage Act appeared to be failing or if multiple states began to legalize same-sex marriages, then he would support the constitutional amendment.

Giuliani did not mention the amendment or the issue of gay marriage during his address to the Values Voters Summit, but that position could win him favor with some social conservatives who view the former mayor warily.

I don't believe him and quite frankly I'm getting sick and tired of the politicians using God to get my vote. I'm not interested in electing a pastor. I want a president who isn't afraid to lead even when it's unpopular.

Bong Hits for Jesus coming to a movie theater near you

MTV films and Paramount Pictures are making a movie about the kid who put up a banner that read "Bong Hits for Jesus" and was suspended for it. He sued, taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court where he lost on a split decision. His dad lost his job over the case:

Frederick already had a contentious relationship with the school principal when he got suspended for 10 days for displaying a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" message on a 14-foot sign outside the school. The principal felt the banner promoted drug use. The case made national headlines, and Frederick became a poster boy for the First Amendment, but in a split decision, the Supreme Court upheld the principal's right to suspend the student.

"The heart of this story is the relationship between a father and son," Shamberg said. "Frank Frederick was an insurance adjuster facing the loss of his job if his son didn't back down."

Frederick, who'd often discussed the importance of First Amendment rights with his son at the dinner table, would not force his son to drop the case, and he was fired from his job. Father and son now teach English in China.
This could be an interesting movie to take my kids to see if they do a good job with the material. I think it's good for my kids to see other kids standing up for what they believe.

Thompson's pandering pays off

He moves up one point on the God-O-Meter for his comment to the Values Voters that the first thing he would do when he entered the Oval Office was pray. This puts him ahead of Ron Paul (sorry, Paulians) but behind McCain and Romney who is almost a ten (the level of perfection?).

Fred Thompson's Post-Debate Interview

A feisty Fred Thompson!

Republican Debate Video: Who is the most conservative?

Tort reform??? That's what Giuliani comes back against Thompson?


This is the Democrats front-runner?

Oh. My. Heck! Half the people polled say they would never vote for Hilliary Clinton. She beats out Gravel and Kucinich!

Half of likely voters nationwide said they would never vote for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, in a poll Zogby conducted Oct. 11-15, 2007, with a margin of error of +/– 1.0 percentage point.

"This is up from 46% who said they could never vote for Clinton in a Zogby International telephone survey conducted in early March," the poll asserts. "Older voters are most resistant to Clinton – 59% of those age 65 and older said they would never vote for the New York senator, but she is much more acceptable to younger voters: 42% of those age 18–29 said they would never vote for Clinton for President."

Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Sen. Mike Gravel rank second and third on the "who I'd never vote" for list, respectively.
(via)

And you people think I'm insane because I believe that the Republicans have a shot at retaining the White House? You might want to check the intergrity of your house before you throw stones.

Petraeus Shiite Militias

Wow! This demonstrates that the surge has been successful and they're able to move on to other targets. This also demonstrates that even though America and our leaders in Congress are ready to raise the white flag, our military is able to do it's job.

Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker have concluded that Shiite extremists pose a rising threat to the U.S. effort in Iraq, as the relative influence of Sunni insurgent groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq has diminished drastically because of ongoing U.S. operations.

This judgment forms part of the changes that Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, approved last week to their classified campaign strategy for the country, which covers the period through summer 2009. The updated plan anticipates shifting the U.S. military effort to focus more on countering Shiite militias -- some backed by Iran -- that have generated new violence as they battle for power in the south and elsewhere in Iraq, said senior military and diplomatic officials familiar with the plan.

"As the Sunni insurgents quit fighting us, the problems we have with criminality and other militia, many of them Shia, become relatively more important," said a U.S. Embassy official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan is not finalized.

[...]

The campaign plan's recognition that Shiite extremists pose a relatively greater threat comes as rival Shiite militias have increased their attacks throughout southern Iraq in recent months, including the assassination of two provincial governors. A quarterly Pentagon report on Iraq released last month concluded that the instability in some southern provinces reflected the growing strength of the Mahdi Army, the militia of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Even so, officials said, the targeting of Shiite militias is far more sensitive for the Shiite-led Iraqi government than is the U.S. effort against the Sunni group al-Qaeda in Iraq. "When hitting on these militias, you are getting close to home for these Shia politicians . . . so it's a lot more delicate," said one military official.
(via)

When I saw that they were hit the Shiites I figured that Maliki wouldn't be too happy. I hope that they continue even if he tries to stop them.

The Blog Should Load Much Quicker

I've deleted most of our sidebar content.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The History of Religion Map



(via)

Lazy Reporting on the Governor's Race in Louisiana

So, the conventional wisdom must be that Jindal won because there weren't as many Democrats in New Orleans. From the article in Bloomberg that I've already quoted:

Jindal, a Bush administration supporter in Congress, was the only Republican running for governor in a state where Democrats make up about half the registered voters and outnumber Republicans two-to-one.

Since hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, tens of thousands of New Orleans residents who historically voted Democratic have been dislocated.

After Hurricane

The Secretary of State's office reports 56,995 fewer Democratic voters now than when the hurricane hit, and 11,355 fewer black Democrats. Those numbers may understate reality because at least two years must elapse before the state purges former residents from voter rolls, office spokesman Jacques Berry said.

The reporter could have compared the numbers from the 2003 race and yesterday's race and would have noticed what David Freddoso of The Corner noticed, that the Jindal won because he won more of the upstate vote.

Mom accused of neglect for homeschooling

Shouldn't school districts be used to homeschooling now and know that they can't force parents to send their kids to school? I think if I were the parents I would sue the school for harassment and for failure to protect my kids from intimidation:

A Missouri public school is pursuing a complaint against a mother for withdrawing her son and daughter from the school and teaching them at home, after an apparent threat to the daughter's life at the school.

The case involves Moberly, Mo., mother Anita Nicoli, who withdrew her daughter and a son from Moberly Middle School recently after what she has described as a two-year campaign of intimidation by other students.

The breaking point came when another student, who allegedly had harassed and assaulted her daughter, drew a picture of herself holding a gun and pointing it directly at Nicoli's daughter. The picture was passed around among students, she said.

But she now has been cited in a complaint filed by the school after she withdrew two of her children.

[...]

The incident that she perceived as a threat was especially egregious, she told WND, because the student who drew the picture showed it to her daughter, and then other students saw it as well. One student told a teacher, who took the picture. But Nicoli said when she found out and wanted a copy of the offending picture to pursue a complaint, the school told her it had been lost.

[...]

The last situation with her daughter happened when the other student hit her daughter in the face with a locker door, leaving a bruise on her check. Then the other student slapped her daughter, punched her, and threatened to "kick" her.
I think this school has a lot of nerve charging the parent with neglect when they did nothing about the bullying.

Scholars try to reconcile problematic texts in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Apparently ecumenicalism means the rejection of your sacred text:

Speaking with mutual respect and sensitivity, prominent Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars and clergy from around the country met in Los Angeles this week to "wrestle" with what one rabbi described as the "dark side" of the three faith traditions.

Experts cited "problematic" passages from the Hebrew Scripture, the New Testament and the Koran that assert the superiority of one belief system over others.

As an example, the Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith, ecumenical and interreligous official of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, quoted from the Gospel of Mark: "Go into the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."

Rabbi Reuven Firestone, director of the Institute for the Study of Jewish-Muslim Interrelations at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, mentioned a series of texts, including a verse from Deuteronomy: "For you are a people consecrated to the Lord your God: of all the peoples of the earth the Lord your God chose you to be His treasured people."

And Muzammil H. Siddiqi, chairman of the Fiqh (Islamic Law) Council of North America, quoted from the Koran:

"You who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as allies: they are allies only to each other. Anyone who takes them as an ally becomes one of them -- God does not guide such wrongdoers."

[...]

"After wrestling, I hope people can understand these texts in the appropriate contexts and realize that not all of them, but many of them, are bound by conditions of social milieu, of culture, of historical context."

In some instances, he continued, people of faith need to say to themselves, "This is part of my sacred tradition, but I reject it. I find this text offensive. It goes against my own morality, and it goes against what I believe God expects of me in the world today."

That calls for a great deal of theological introspection, education and courage, he said.

[...]

"We want to foster serious theological and moral thinking about those aspects of our traditions . . . that are intolerant and delegitimizes the other and have been used by extremists to foster violence and hatred," said Rabbi Eugene Korn, executive director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding. "It's absolutely critical now because of the increase in religious violence and extreme hostility."

[...]

Speakers at the Los Angeles conference also included Rabbi Elliott Dorff, rector and professor of philosophy at American Jewish University, and Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary.
There will be two more meetings and then they plan to publish a book of the papers from the conference on the Internet. I can't wait to read it :-)

In the article they attempted to explain away the text of Mark stating that it was added later during the time when there were struggles between Christians and Jews (I wonder if they are referring to when James the brother of Jesus was put to death illegally).

Unfortunately, they're asking us to reject a whole lot of our Bible:
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

John 6:64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Acts 17:30 "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
And that's just a small portion of the texts that I could cite. Christians who believe the Bible is the word of God have no intention of rejecting passages from the Bible because we would be sitting in judgment of God. That would not be a wise move on our part. Sorry, if the text offends some with it's claims of exclusivity but you're going to have to take that up with God.

Louisiana Elects Jindal Governor

Good news for Jindal and Louisiana and hopefully for New Orleans as well! Maybe he can do something about the corruption there so that rebuilding can take place.

Republican U.S. Representative Bobby Jindal was elected governor of Louisiana late yesterday and will become the first Indian-American to lead a U.S. state.

Jindal, a Rhodes Scholar who became Louisiana's health secretary at age 24, won 54 percent of the votes in an open primary, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State's Web site. A majority of votes were needed to negate the need for a Nov. 17 runoff election. Democrats Foster Campbell and Walter Boasso got 13 percent and 17 percent, respectively, while Independent John Georges won 14 percent.

The election was Jindal's second campaign for governor. Four years ago, after winning a primary election with 33 percent of the vote, he lost to Democrat Kathleen Blanco by four percentage points in a run-off election. Blanco's popularity declined after Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts lagged. She opted not to seek another term.

``The theme of this election for many voters was buyer's remorse from 2003,'' Louisiana State University political science professor Robert Goidel said last week. ``Voters all over the state seemed to be saying we don't want to make the same mistake this year.''

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Huckabee wins the Value Voters Straw Poll

By a pretty large margin:

Mitt Romney was announced from the podium Saturday afternoon as the winner of the Family Research Council’s "Values Voter Straw Poll" of Christian conservatives, but it turns out that Huck-mentum was in the air.

The 5,775-vote total included thousands of people who had voted online, and might have become eligible by paying as little as $1 to join FRC Action, the legislative action arm of the Family Research Council.

Although the audience of evangelicals at the Washington Hilton was not told about the alternate count, the crowd favorite by a mile among the 952 attendees who voted in person was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He took 51 percent of the in-person votes, compared to just 10 percent for the former Massachusetts governor.

Organizers said they wound up with more than 2,200 attendees, plus more than 400 journalists. Further complicating the voting totals, about 600 attendees voted online, so making it tougher to generalize about the discrepancies, organizers said.

[...]

The two groups of voters agreed on one thing: Hillary Clinton was voted “least acceptable” candidate both overall (4,141 votes, or 72 percent) and in online voting (733 votes, or 77 percent). In total voting, Giuliani was the runner-up as least-acceptable, ahead of all the Democrats on the ballot. Online, that honor went to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)

[...]

Mike Huckabee – 488 votes – 51.26%

Mitt Romney – 99 votes – 10.40%

Fred Thompson – 77 votes – 8.09%

Tom Tancredo – 65 votes – 6.83%

Rudy Giuliani – 60 votes – 6.30%

Duncan Hunter – 54 votes – 5.67%

John McCain – 30 votes – 3.15%

Sam Brownback – 26 votes – 2.73%

Ron Paul – 25 votes – 2.63%

Undecided – 11 votes – 1.16%
(via)

So, now that he's got their vote will they open their wallets? Are conservative Christians ready to support the guy they think best represents their values? It will be interesting to see what kind of bump he gets from this.

So, are we supposed to be fighting?

I don't know if we're really called to fight the unbeliever:

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments 5 and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
What do you think?

Update: Just to clarify, I agree with the author that the example of the drag queens is pretty heinous and apologizing for the truthful of the speech was bad. I agree that our message is an offense to the unbeliever but I don't believe we have to be belligerent about it and that's what I was questioning.

Frank Gaffney-Martyn Burke film “Islam vs. Islamists" on Fox News

At 9:00 tonight. This is the film that PBS banned from it's airways. See for yourself what PBS censored.

Confessionz (St. Augustine Rap Remixed)

19 tons of explosives found in Iraq

Here's some really good news:

U.S. forces in Iraq discovered nearly 19 tons of explosives in a weapons cache north of Baghdad this week, one of the biggest finds of its kind, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

The cache was discovered west of Tarmiya, some 30 km (19 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad, in Salahuddin province where Sunni Arab militants have a strong presence.

The find was made up of 41,000 lbs of ammonium nitrate and 35 mortar bombs. U.S. forces destroyed the cache.

(via)

Thompson leads in churchgoers

Thompson leads in the polls by 10 points among church goers:

Fred Thompson may have failed to impress Beltway insiders when he finally launched his run for the White House last month, but he is winning over a critical segment of the Republican coalition, new polling suggests.

Conservative Christians favor Thompson by a 10-point margin over his closest rival, Rudy Giuliani.

It’s a sharp reversal for Giuliani. The putative GOP front-runner had been winning social conservative backing despite his history of support for abortion rights and gay rights.

Thompson has changed that.

Giuliani leads Thompson 29 percent to 21 percent among Republicans generally, the new national CBS News poll suggests.

But weekly Republican churchgoers back Thompson by a margin of 29 percent to 19 percent for Giuliani — roughly tying John McCain.
It's surprise that Giuliani is polling so well among conservatives considering the fact that he isn't one and makes no bones about it in this video. In fact he very proudly proclaimed that he was a liberal. I think the video would make a nice Thompson ad.

Pro-Abortion Feminist Marchers Assault Peaceful Prayer Group in Argentina

Don't ever try to take away their right to kill their babies in the womb, they might try to kill you.

A pro-abortion march by angry feminists in the Argentine city of Cordoba became the scene of religious harassment last Sunday as demonstrators assaulted a peaceful group of Catholics praying in front of the Cathedral.

The feminists, who were participating in the Twenty-Second Annual National Women's Encounter, erupted into a frenzy of obscenity and violence, throwing trash and screaming epithets at the counter-demonstrators, who stood on the steps of the Cathedral with a banner over their heads that read "Cordoba Defends Life", and depicted a baby's hand.

[...]

One girl at the cathedral, which the press identified only as "Juana", received a black eye from the incident. When she attempted to report it to the local police, she was told, "if it hurts, go to a doctor, I have a lot of work to do" and the policeman told a reporter accompanying the girl, "I decide what is a crime and what isn't."
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It's a blessing to live in a country where our cops don't determine the law, they only enforce it.

Thompson on the Michael Medved Show

You can listen to it here. I'm glad he's branched out to other shows, I hope he eventually goes on Hewitt's show.

9-11 Truthers disrupt Maher’s show

Here's the video (it's Maher so I don't have to warn you about the language). You have to give Maher credit that he hasn't fallen off the cliff into total insanity with others in his party.

Yet another example of media bias

Tell me again that the media isn't biased! And this is just ridiculous.

Family Research Council Value Voters Summit in DC

Is taking place this weekend. Marc Ambinder is blogging from there. He reports that Thompson has the most supporters there and they are handing out anti-Romney and Giuliani literature. Here are some excerpts from Thompson's speech:

"My political record and my head were always there, always has been there, but I must say that it took life's experiences for me to absorb the real importance of it all. I had been blessed early in my life when I was young...and I have been blessed when I was not so young. I've had the
the ultimate tragedy that a father can have and the ultimate blessing that a father can gave.
With regard to Ms. Hayden, I can only say that after the first time in my life, seeing the sonogram of my own child. I will never think exactly the same again. I will never feel exactly the same again. Because my heart now is fully engaged with my head."

Later, to a standing ovation, Thompson said that in the first hour of his administration, "I would go into the Oval Office and close the door and pray for the wisdom to do what is right."

Here are his applause lines:

"We've been together for a long time, We've not always agreed on perhaps the right approach to everything, but the goal has been the same."

"Our basic rights come from God, and not from any government."

"Our people have shed more blood than any nation in the history of the world."

"I'm proud to have been a consistent conservative, cutting taxes, balancing the budget, reducing regulation, promoting welfare reform, fighting for good conservative judges with a100 percent pro-life voting record, and I'm proud of that record."

"Has the Democratic Congress Worked For You?"

The NRCC has a new contest:

Our user-generated video contest is the latest NRCC effort to reach out to new media volunteers and give our supporters a unique platform to creatively express their opinions.

Voters across the country are quickly figuring out that the Democrats' bogus campaign rhetoric has lead to a laundry list of empty promises. So take that concept, and the slogan "Has the Democratic Congress Worked For You?" and create, produce, and direct an original web ad.
I don't think anyone -- Republican or Democrat -- can truthfully say that the Democrats are doing anything of value. Even with an issue they say they care about (children's healthcare) their arrogance and big government mentality have stopped them from working with the Republicans to pass something that the president can sign. Like the Iraq war, they thought the Republicans would be swayed by publican pressure that never materialized. This congress would actually get something done if Pelosi would do what she said she would do before the November elections: work with the Republicans in a bi-partisan manner so that they could pass legislation that both sides agree on.

Mel Martinez resigned as general chairman of the RNC

Yeah! I wish they would put in someone who would be more pro-active and push the agenda of the Republicans. We desperately need spokesmen for our positions especially since Bush refuses to do it.

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) resigned Friday as general chairman of the Republican National Committee, leaving all top-level leader duties for the embattled GOP to Mike Duncan, the current chairman.

Martinez, who took the job nine months ago as the public face of the national GOP, stepped down during a tough time for the Republican Party, out of power on Capitol Hill and trying to gain traction in the national campaign under the shadow of an unpopular, lame-duck president. Martinez, who publicly parted ways with GOP congressional leaders earlier this year on immigration issues, will not be replaced as general chairman.

Republican sources say there were two key factors in Martinez's departure. First, he's facing a much tougher than expected re-election race for his Senate seat in 2010 and believes he needs to focus more on taking care of his political and policy priorities in Florida. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released in July, Martinez had an approval rating of 37 percent in Florida, the lowest since he was elected.

Second, Martinez may have underestimated how much time the role of general chairman would take, and was unable to create as much visibility as some GOP insiders wanted from the national chairman of the party. The job of general chairman was largely titular and did not involve operational duties, but the position was demanding because he had to be the public face of the party nationwide, taking away time from his day job in the Senate.
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Ron Paul's America

Here's an interesting map of Ron Paul supporters.

(via)

Update: Here is some more insight into Ron Paul supporters.

Atlanta has less than 90-days of water left

Please join me in praying that Atlanta gets rain soon. They are in the middle of a severe drought:

With the South in the grip of an epic drought and its largest city holding less than a 90-day supply of water, officials are scrambling to deal with the worst-case scenario: What if Atlanta's faucets really do go dry?

So far, no real backup plan exists. And there are no quick fixes among suggested solutions, which include piping water in from rivers in neighboring states, building more regional reservoirs, setting up a statewide recycling system or even desalinating water from the Atlantic Ocean.

"It's amazing that things have come to this," said Ray Wiedman, owner of an Atlanta landscaper business. "Everybody knew the growth was coming. We haven't had a plan for all the people coming here?"

[...]

More than a quarter of the Southeast is covered by an "exceptional" drought—the National Weather Service's worst drought category. The Atlanta area, with a population of 5 million, is smack in the middle of the affected region, which extends like a dark cloud over most of Tennessee, Alabama and the northern half of Georgia, as well as parts of North and South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia.

State officials warn that Lake Lanier, a 38,000-acre north Georgia reservoir that supplies more than 3 million residents with water, is already less than three months from depletion. Smaller reservoirs are dropping even lower, forcing local governments to consider rationing.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Baby found alive under debris of a house destroyed by tornado

Absolutely amazing story! What a blessing for the family that they survived the tornado and the destruction of their house.


(via)

Pelosi rebukes Rep. Pete Stark

Why bother rebuking him? The guy has no sense of common decency and doesn't get it that the House should be above the rantings of those who suffer from BDS. He's just one more example of the coursing of our culture:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuked a fellow San Francisco Bay-area liberal Friday for what she said were "inappropriate" comments about Iraq during a congressional debate.

During a debate on children's health care Thursday, Rep. Pete Stark accused Republicans of sending troops to Iraq to "get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

[...]

Pelosi issued a statement Friday evening rapping Stark, who is in his 18th term representing the liberal East Bay. He's California's longest-serving House members.

"While members of Congress are passionate about their views, what Congressman Stark said during the debate was inappropriate and distracted from the seriousness of the subject at hand—providing health care for America's children," Pelosi said.

[...]

After numerous Republicans called on him to apologize, Stark said it was they who should be apologizing, for failing to provide the votes to override Bush's veto.

Atheist China Vows to Encourage Religion

Not buying it. China, one of the main persecutors of Christians, promises to make religious services available during the Olympic Games. Probably in one of their state run churches.

China has promised to offer religious services to foreigners at the 2008 Olympic Games and to have religion play a positive role in the future of the officially atheist country, the top religious affairs official said Wednesday.

A large number of religious athletes and tourists are expected at the Games and Beijing will “make sure” their religious needs are met, Ye Xiaowen, director-general of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, said to reporters at the ruling Communist Party’s 17th Congress, according to Reuters.

“Here I can promise that religious services we offer will not be lower than the level of any previous Games,” Ye said. He did not say, however, if China will allow proselytizing like other Olympic hosts.

Ye also urged the Vatican to establish diplomatic ties with China, where there are some 10 million Catholics either in state-approved churches or “underground” churches.

Catholics in state-approved church respect the Pope as a spiritual figurehead but do not recognize his authority as those in the “underground” church do.

Since 1949, China has not had diplomatic relations with the Vatican following the Communist revolution. There has been significant tension between the two powers because of differences on issues such as the authority to appoint bishops, the recognition of the pope, and the Vatican’s relationship with Taiwan.

[...]

Chinese religious affairs head Ye also dismissed accusations that China restricts the printing and sales of Bibles, saying the Bible is only distributed through [state-run] churches and not through bookshops.
They make them available in the state run churches because they want to control the distribution.