|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Posted 12:13 PM by WiN
The Dems' Sharpton Dilemma
Today's Bob Novak column gives a good overview of the Democrats' exquisitely excruciating dilemma of "How to handle Al Sharpton: Democratic Presidential Candidate". None of his erstwhile primary opponents dare to engage Reverend Al on any of his numerous weaknesses (pathological dishonesty and serial race-baiting, to name two) for fear of a scorched-earth counter-attack that would obliterate his chances with black voters. I don't blame them - who would want to tangle with a guy that falsely accused upstanding civil servants of raping a minor and leaving her for dead and has never had to so much as apologize?
As Novak points out, early polls indicate that Sharpton could seriously disrupt the field in the crucial South Carolina primary, preventing any of the serious candidates from claiming the all-important 'front-runner' mantle.
Meanwhile, Republicans will be laughing their asses off and doing their best to exorcise the ghosts of the feeble Bush and Dole campaigns of '92 and '96. A few of us might even consider making a contribution to Rev. Al's campaign. Surely the Lord would forgive us, seeing as how it would be going to a Man of God and all.
Posted 7:27 AM by WiN
You've got a ticket to ri-ide
Peace panderer Gerhard Schroeder didn't take the hint two weeks ago, so 10 German executives decided to drop a slightly less subtle hint in the form of a nine foot by 18 foot, one-way ticket to his home-town of Hanover. Somehow, I just don't think he's going to survive this, politically speaking. Which is probably the best possible outcome the U.S. could hope for.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Posted 11:00 AM by WiN
Carnival of the Vanities XXI
Posted 10:58 AM by WiN
Fly as a Federal V.I.P.
Tired of being harassed, or even physically assaulted, by the new Federal Security folks at the airport? Well, Penn Gillette has a story about what he did about it, and suggests that maybe you should, too. [via WeckUpToThees]
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Posted 9:58 AM by WiN
The Cross-Blog Iraq War Debate - Phase II
The cross-blog debate between pro- and anti-war bloggers has moved to Phase II - Posting Replies. This debate, originally proposed by N.Z. Bear and hosted by The Truth Laid Bear and Stand Down, invites bloggers from both positions to respond to questions from the opposition [Pro - Con] in their own blog, linking back to the original host blogs. I am truly humbled and honored that one of my questions (# 2) was used on the pro-war side.
Here are my responses to the anti-war questions, based on my admittedly limited knowledge of the situation:
Monday, February 10, 2003
Posted 3:01 PM by WiN
Risky Liberal Disenfranchisement Schemes
This came out last Friday, but Jay Nordlinger touched on it again today, so I thought I'd highlight it for those who haven't yet heard about it.
“Gore operatives had access to exit polls showing the vice president being defeated by Bradley (in the New Hampshire primaries). They also learned that while Democratic voters were voting in large numbers for Gore, independents, many of them upscale suburban voters, were voting for Bradley’s sophisticated brand of liberalism.” This they knew by early afternoon. Their solution? “The Gore team organized a caravan to clog highway I-93 with traffic so as to discourage potential Bradley voters from getting to the polls.” (Boston Phoenix reporter) Mr. (Seth) Gitell’s report notes that the traffic jam is “spoken of with awe by operatives who worked for the campaign.”Just so you don't miss the message here: liberal campaign workers creating traffic jams to keep people from voting=Good; Police setting up traffic checkpoints in black neighborhoods on election day=Bad. Liberals=Good, Everyone Else=Bad. Got it? Good.
Posted 7:58 AM by WiN
Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it. I guess that's because many of the staunchest denunciations of the homosexual lifestyle have come from good old Southern Baptists, which handily outnumber any other flavor of Christianity in these parts. Anyway, I ran across this story at the CNSNews site about an American Baptist pastor who has started a church for homosexuals in "The City of Brotherly Love" (you can't make this stuff up). Why, you might ask?
Michael Kevane, an organist at Drexel Hill, attended the first Fusion service last week and said he felt a sense of belonging he had not felt in other Baptist churches.An organist? I can just hear Leno now.
But, this does raise an important question as to how the church should deal with homosexuals. As I've stated before, I believe homosexuals can be delivered from homosexuality if they have a sincere desire to surrender themselves to God. But what if they don't? Should the church cater to them as a distinct group, glossing over their open rebellion to God's word? In my mind, that would be equivalent to forming a church for practicing alcoholics, or pagans, or adulterers.
Sinners need to be in church. In fact, if they weren't, churches would stand empty. And I believe it is certainly appropriate for the church to create 'outreaches', or specialist ministry groups, to help people who are trapped in specific addictions or sin patterns with the goal of getting them set free from those things that plague them. This is as true of homosexuals as it is of anyone else. Those who are seeking to know God should be wherever they can get closest to Him, and for many people this is the church.
Where I worship, anyone is welcomed to come and worship with us and seek to know God as He really is. But if you come seeking approval for your sin, you'd be in the wrong place, because for most of us we have come to realize that accepting the Truth, God's Truth, is the only way to be truly free. That process is almost always uncomfortable and usually even painful, but we know the joy and freedom that comes from going through the process and coming out on the other side. We're there to walk beside you, to pick you up when you stumble, to encourage you, to weep with you when you weep, to laugh when you laugh and, ultimately, to help you go through what we've been through in our own lives in one dimension or another. Because once you've been through it, you want to help others to get there, too.
So, should there be a 'gay church'? Definitely, if the goal is for those who have come out on the other side to help those who want to, or even think they might want to, be delivered and learn to live free. Otherwise, you're putting a band-aid on a cancer - a cancer that, like any sin, will eventually eat away at your soul until you turn away from God because you can no longer bear to face Him. And that, I can tell you, is a very, very lonely place.
Posted 7:24 AM by WiN
Black City Councilman switches to GOP
Some think this is a publicity stunt, but the guy sounds pretty smart to me:
"When you talk about advocating public policy that supports self-determination, self-reliance, those are Republican agendas. The Democratic Party, in my opinion, advocates a policy that supports dependency"If more black politicians would stand up and tell their constituents the truth, that the Democratic Party supports dependency and subsidizes destructive behavior, while suppressing policies (like school vouchers) that would actually help those trapped in "soft bigotry of low expectations", the less likely they would be to be taken advantage of by either party. And that can only be good for everyone.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
Posted 6:27 PM by WiN
U.S., Britain preparing ultimatum
According to this report from The Telegraph, US and Britain will give Saddam just 48 hours to leave Iraq in a resolution to be presented before the U.N. Security Council by next weekend.
Time is getting short for Saddam and his murderous regime. War-war will soon replace jaw-jaw.
Posted 5:12 PM by WiN
Blog Popularity - a study
A while back, there were a couple of efforts to characterize the blogosphere by who links to who, both quantitatively and qualitatively. At the time, it was apparent that blog popularity roughly followed the "80-20" rule (20% of the blogs got 80% of the total links, for example). For those who are the least bit curious as to why this is true, here is an interesting treatise on Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality from Shirky.com
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.