Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Predictions of the Day: Professor yells at cop, gets arrested, writes book about it...


... and a whole rainbow worth of racist coalitions get excited.

I may be starting a new line of posts here, called "Predictions of the Day".

Anyway, here's the first one:

When the tapes (Yep, they got tapes.) come out, it will probably prove what the witnesses have confirmed: the police report is accurate. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. followed Sgt. James Crowley out onto Professor Gates' front porch, verbally abused him and was arrested.

Speaking from personal experience, verbally abusing a cop is an automatic free guided tour of the vomit-sour back seat of a cruiser and the accompanying ride downtown. It doesn't matter if you're black, white, green, purple, or a DQ swirl-cone with cherry dip. And despite what you would think, at the times things like this happen, "right" or "wrong" and nuanced thought on possible public opinion ramifications don't come into it....

It's also a Twilight-Zoney coincidence that the cop teaches a class in racial profiling avoidance techniques.

Some predictions? Why not?

Sgt. Crowley will be demonized by many and will be defended by many, and both camps will be doing so for the wrong reasons: they have their political axe to grind or their own racial bias to promote.

He will eventually retire to a small town and star in his own TV show, complete with his very own deputy sidekick and a whole slew of funny-townie characters, all of them white, but none of them racist.

Professor Gates will continue the talk-show rounds, the pictures with Al Sharpton and Spike Lee, and in the process becoming a universally revered Black Culture Icon, kinda the anti-Bill Cosby.

He will write a best-selling book on the Profiling of Black Males in America - no "publish or perish" for this guy. He'll also be able to afford to buy a bigger summer home on Martha's Vineyard. This is so he can shout an even louder "Do you know who I am?" to cops who really don't give a crap.

He will also get a self-explanatory Tommie Smith-John Carlos tattoo on his forehead, so that he doesn't have to pose like that all the time. Plus, the tat will be the shizzle at his sold-out Harvard lectures.

Our President, the esteemed 0-Man, who surprised many by jumping the traces of his Teleprompter and jamming both feet into his mouth (just like he puts his pants on), will have very little else to say. However his press secretary and other minions will be making multiple rounds of the bloviating talking-head shows, back-tracking, obfuscating, and generally trying to smoke screen the 0-Man's way out of a predicament he should never have been in; but it makes a helluva distraction from the Health Care debacle.

Women in Cambridge will still call the cops when they see two guys breaking down the door of a house.

There you go. As you can see, I've taken some real risks here. I just know you appreciate it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Who needs Nostradamus when you have....

Robert E. Lee

“The consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all that have preceded it.” -- REL

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mega-Churches - Ref.: Fairfield Christian Church in Lancaster, Ohio.

Someone on the Lancaster Eagle Gazette Forum asked "I wonder what's wrong with all the other churches in town? They just don't do anything according to the LEG. FCC is the ONLY church in town apparently.... "

There is nothing wrong (outside of their normal differences) with all the other churches in town -- the problem is that FCC has stepped outside the Biblical norm for New Testament Churches.

You hardly ever hear of my church in the LEG or elsewhere, but we are a fully developed New Testament Church, with all the (non)requisite programs, ministries, and missions.

BUT... we choose (Biblically, I believe) to not get involved in politics or business.

It is sad that these "mega-churches" cast their Un-Biblical shadow over honest, Evangelical, true to the Word of God Churches. But they do -- simply because of human nature. We gravitate toward the flamboyant, and the public showmanship and the politically connected social networking such "churches" have to offer.

Unfortunately, the public loves the TV preaching, fadist type of Church. I think that it is because it poses no CHALLENGE -- Ministers that can double as car salesmen, that have virtually no education, cannot read Greek or Hebrew - much less write it, are easier to discount. Indeed, the whole thing makes Unbelievers, simply because of the "association", more easily discount the offer of Salvation.

And that's the shame. And pity.

Short term predictions....

The Market is strong for now, the Economy isn't.

Watch the overstated earnings and returns as they roll in over the next two quarters.

Gas is over 3 again and there are fast food jobs everywhere you look.

The banking crisis will only get worse and the housing market is dying and except for custom builders will be dead within a year.

Neo-Cons and their corporations are every bit as much on the teat of big government as their Liberal counterparts and Government spending continues to increase, outstripping revenue even while tax breaks for large corporate holdings fail to generate the famed trickle down (which really means piss on you).

Save our country, ditch the empire. Vote for Ron Paul for President.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Dr. Ron Paul for President....

Brief Overview of Congressman Paul’s Record:

He has never voted to raise taxes.

He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.

He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.

He has never voted to raise congressional pay.

He has never taken a government-paid junket.

He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

He voted against the Patriot Act.

He voted against regulating the Internet.

He voted against the Iraq war.

He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.

He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

Congressman Paul introduces numerous pieces of substantive legislation each year, probably more than any single member of Congress.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Fred Thompson... The Incredible Snow Job Waiting To Happen.

Fred Thompson reeks of integrity ... of "gravitas".

"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made." - Jean Giraudoux

Taken from sTiVo's comment on http://www.maxspeak.org/

"... When hacks like Chris Matthews prattle on about authenticity, what they mean is the kind of authenticity Giraudoux was talking about. Someone able to fool enough of the people enough of the time to get over. The LAST thing they want is an authentic populist. Thompson fills the bill."

Fred not only has fake sincerity, he has that kind of dignified air that might actually be stupidity. Unfortunately it is mistaken for what is called "gravitas".

Why not something REAL -- why not RON PAUL?

Salvation... offered from a personal God.

Jesus Christ, the literal Son of God, offers you Salvation from a pre-determined fate, resting on the personal choice made possible by a God-given Free Will.

Now I'm sure that this can be torn to pieces, logically, but Faith allows me the privilege of believing that. And you have Faith too... in your ability to understand the evidence presented to you. And you believe that the result of your decision is that you can choose to discount God from any effect on your life and any possible personal responsibility that may entail.

You're wrong.

I believe in a personal and loving God. I believe in the Sin Nature of Man, and because of that Sin Nature, the inability to save one's self.

I choose to believe that God allowed me to choose Jesus as my personal Savior.

Friday, July 6, 2007

If they think the "Fundies" are bad, try a taste of Sharia....

The other day I was discussing "freedom from religion" with my Atheist friend, UND, and he commented:

"Now personally, I don't really care about what religion one is or isn't or how ridiculous that religion is. My concern is how this certitude that comes with deep religious fervor affects our govt and society."

My reply: The threat of Sharia Law concerns me too.

And Bill the Cat said, "Thbbbt!".

Everybody else says "Amen".

Charles Moore on Militant Atheism....

Militant atheists: too clever for their own good -- By Charles Moore

President Ahmedinejad chose his words carefully. Announcing the release of the 15 British Servicemen whom he held hostage, he said that Iran "forgave" them, because it was the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed and also of "the passing of Christ".

The word "passing" was deliberately vague. He used this phrase for what Christians call the Passion, because Muslims, although they revere Jesus as a prophet, deny that he was crucified. Another was substituted in Jesus's place, they believe. It is strange that the Koran, which explicitly accepts the virgin birth of Jesus, fastens on the most historical bit of the New Testament as being untrue. But of course it is helpful for Muslims if there was no Crucifixion, because then there could have been no Resurrection. And if there was no Resurrection, then the field is clear for Mohammed as the final Prophet of God.

So the President of Iran, well attuned to how propaganda works with different audiences, was trying to fool us in the West that he was being kind, while telling his people at home that he had the nation of infidels at his mercy.

Last week, I attended a debate organised by Intelligence Squared, an organisation devoted to high-level public argument. The subject was so popular that, instead of the usual venue, the Methodist Central Hall in London had to be hired. More than 2,000 people crammed in. The motion was "We'd be better off without religion".

The anti-God party was represented by Professor Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion. Christopher Hitchens, the English polemicist who has long made his living in America, and Professor A. C. Grayling, who has that big mane of swept-back hair which says "philosopher" just as clearly as a pinstripe suit used until recently to say "Tory".

Against the motion were the archaeologist Nigel Spivey, Rabbi Julia Neuberger, and Professor Roger Scruton. Intelligence Squared has a good custom of taking votes before and after the debate.

The idea is to see how much the speeches have swayed the audience. On this occasion, at the beginning of the evening, there were 826 votes for the motion, 681 against, and 364 don't knows. At the end, there were 1,205 for, 778 against and 103 don't knows.

Although I voted against the motion both times, I think the shift of votes was justified, on the basis of the speeches. All six spoke well, but the opponents of religion were more eloquent, more passionate, more - odd though it sounds to say it - believing. By a curious reversal, it is now the atheists who thump the tub for their non-faith, as if it were they who were the preachers.

Matthew Parris, who writes a distinguished column in another newspaper, is normally notable for the subtlety of his argument and his sympathetic tone of voice. But this week, he was so angry at religion, particularly at the idea that the intercession of the late Pope John Paul II had cured a nun of cancer, that he was quite beside himself.

Parris wants faith and reason to part forever and for people to "choose your side". To the question, "But how can you be sure," he employs assertion, rather than reason, to answer: "Oh boy, am I sure. Oh great quivering mountains of pious mumbo-jumbo, am I sure. Oh fathomless oceans of sanctified babble, am I sure." Matthew sounded just like those people who say, "I KNOW God exists, because He speaks to me" - only the other way round.

I feel that atheism may be acquiring precisely those characteristics that atheists so dislike about religion - intolerance, dogmatism, righteousness, moral contempt for one's opponents.

When you hear or read people like Richard Dawkins, you have to admit the force of many of their arguments. Religious people do often say extraordinarily indefensible things about their faith, and can be astonishingly evasive or confused. Very few of us (certainly not I) can competently maintain the standard arguments for the existence of God against a determined onslaught.

And yet the Dawkinses and Graylings, the Hitchenses and the Parrises, seem somehow to be missing the point. What they say is dry and unnourishing. I think one reason for this lies in their underlying conception of what it is to be human - they think that the highest quality is to be clever.

I hasten to say that I am not arguing against cleverness. Intelligence is a great gift, and should be cultivated, if possessed, by all possible means. All these atheist thinkers I have mentioned are conscious of possessing big, bulging brains and I share their admiration for them. They are the mental equivalent of bronzed body-builders on the beach, kicking sand in the face of us seven-stone weaklings.

But what are we to make of Richard Dawkins's point, in The God Delusion, that Mensa, the society for people with high IQs, has published an article concluding that, of 43 studies of the relationship between intelligence and religious belief since 1927, all but four have found an inverse relation? Or of his statistic that only 3.3 per cent of the Fellows of the Royal Society believe that a personal God exists?

You probably know some people with high IQs. You may even have met members of the Royal Society. Does it strike you, brilliant though they are, that they have a deeper understanding of truth, beauty and all that you need to know about life than the rest of us?

Dawkins also tells us that "there are very few atheists in prison". He suggests that "atheism is correlated with higher education, intelligence or reflectiveness, which might counteract criminal impulses". What begins to emerge - and it lurked strongly behind the anti-religion side of the Intelligence Squared debate - is the idea that atheism is an elite state, a superior order of being, a plane of enlightenment denied to thickoes.

This seems to me to present certain problems. A religious faith is not, primarily, a set of propositions, although it will contain such propositions and must use all human intellectual resources to understand and explain them. It is a belief about what governs the whole of life, indeed the whole existence of everything.

It therefore matters not only how we reason, but how we feel, how we act towards others, how we speak, sing, dance, laugh, cry, eat and wash, how we die, how we pray and how we love.

Does anything in our actual human experience tell us that clever people do these things better than anyone else? It is surely what people call "clever-silly" to argue that they do. In fact, in all this I hear the voices of a university high table - and almost invariably male voices at that - proving something to their own satisfaction while other people cook the lunch.

The Victorian Prime Minister Lord Salisbury once criticised Roman Catholicism for being "an excellent religion for peasants and women". But what sort of a religion would it be which was not excellent for peasants or women (who made up about 90 per cent of the world's population in Salisbury's day)?

And what sort of a belief system is it that asserts the superiority of Richard Dawkins, Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, over the woman who toils in paddy fields, or the child who begs in the dirt, or the prisoner in his chains?

The Crucifixion and the Resurrection are just as distasteful for Richard Dawkins as for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, because they subvert the idea that man is at his greatest when he is most strong, masterful and clever: " 'Tis the old history - Truth without a home, Despised and slain; then, rising from the tomb."

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Pictures of Jesus, the Ten Commandments, Public Restrooms, Footwashing and the ACLU....

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the city of Slidell [Louisiana] on Tuesday for displaying a painting of Jesus in a courthouse lobby, saying it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

The ACLU sued after the Slidell City Court refused to voluntarily remove the picture and a message below it that reads: "To Know Peace, Obey These Laws."

The ACLU says the portrait -- an image of Jesus presenting the New Testament -- is a religious icon of the Eastern Orthodox branch of Christianity....

On Saturday, [City Judge James] Lamz said the picture would stay up unless a federal judge ordered it removed.

Meanwhile, in Michigan I think, University officials are putting foot washing stalls into the public bathrooms... to keep Muslims from washing their feet (and heads) in the sinks before prayers.

Amazing both the amount of money being spent to keep religion out of the courthouse, and installing it in the bathrooms....

Something there, I think - but not sure what.

Given the consternation caused by the Commandments, I would wonder at the fuss it would make if school cafeterias were required to offer both Kosher and Halal diets upon request....

But probably not as much as you'd think. Maybe it DOES matter what religion you're promulgating.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Patriot Act and Sobriety Checkpoints....

There's a difference - some may not think so - between our government (military or civilian) operating in our "best interest" beyond our borders during either peace or war and the government spying on its own citizens within our borders and without probable cause.

Ooooh, and here I'm gonna get some flack: It's about as Constitutional as "sobriety checkpoints". Several similarities. Funny how the same people who hate one can put up with the other.

Humanist = Federalist

Humanist does tend to equal Federalist, and both have more faith in the goodness of man and the positive effect of centralized government than I could ever muster.

State's Rights is Individual Rights in a macrocosm.

Driver's License Scans To Buy Beer....

No matter what they tell you, this is NOT about underage drinking. This is about tracking alcohol from carry-outs and drive-thrus. And you non-drinkers and MADD members out there will just eat it up, ignoring the fact that this is another freedom domino down....

Right now they are running tests that result with the scans being input to a database that can be used to cross-check the DL# with accidents and offenses.

Pretty soon they will be tracking the driver's license number from the scan, and they will be stopping you if you don't head right home.

To the bank, baby.

Bush Commutes Libby's Sentence....

And, come January 21st, it will be followed by a pardon.

The problem with this commutation, is that most Americans can’t tell the difference between it and a pardon… and, in their eyes, brings the only thing left for Bush, his morals (although, being a Neo-Con, those are obviously negligible), down the the level of the Clinton administration.

And I'm not totaling up pardons per administration here. In my opinion, a public official lying under oath is just as bad (or worse) than a drug dealer or tax cheat (see BC's pardons).

Most people do not believe that the Chief of Staff to the VP has such a bad memory. Most of us believe that he lied under oath and that he should pay the penalty that any other person convicted of that crime should and probably will pay.

The whole situation is simple: Both Neo-Cons and Liberals believe that your Government has a right to lie to you. They just believe in different lies.

Now the Neo-Cons who keep comparing Shrub's Commutaton to BC's pardons really don’t care that a Jury convicted Mr. Libby. As the FarLibs do, they believe solely in their twisted view of justified ends.