Wednesday, February 28, 2007

L'Eggo My Lego

This is so over the top I am not sure how to even comment:

Some Seattle school children are being told to be skeptical of private property rights. This lesson is being taught by banning Legos.

A ban was initiated at the Hilltop Children's Center in Seattle. According to an article in the winter 2006-07 issue of "
Rethinking Schools" magazine, the teachers at the private school wanted their students to learn that private property ownership is evil.
According to the article, the students had been building an elaborate "Legotown," but it was accidentally demolished. The teachers decided its destruction was an opportunity to explore "the inequities of private ownership." According to the teachers, "Our intention was to promote a contrasting set of values:
collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation." Read More.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Decoding 'The Secret'

Somehow I missed this. I tend to be out of touch with a lot of "pop" culture and Oprah in particular. After reading about this book, I know why I don't pay much attention to it. I am always amazed at what people will believe, though I suppose I shouldn't be.

Oprah lives by it. Millions are reading it. The latest self-help sensation claims we can change our lives by thinking. But this 'new thought' may just be new marketing. Read More.

The Lost Tomb of Jesus — Larry King Live

Read the whole transcript.

James Cameron is convinced remains are of those of Christ, family

The main quote:

“I’m not an archaeologist. I’m a filmmaker,”

I'd say that pretty well sums it up.

Greenpeace+Global Warming=Subtlety


My new great nephew Morgan: Ahhh! Milk.

Man hit by cab after driver made anti-Semitic comments, witnesses say

A Nashville cabbie made anti-Semitic statements and praised Adolph Hitler’s campaign against Jews during a religious argument that culminated when he ran over one of the passengers as he left the taxi, witnesses said during a hearing today.
The cab driver, Ibrahim Ahmed, said Hitler was “trying to rid the world of Jews,” the alleged victim, Jeremie Imbus, told the court.“I just remember …(being)… I guess the word is ‘shocked,’”

I am shocked also, I am shocked in that this no longer shocks me. Sad.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Christian Excellence

Interesting, are we doing everything in a way that is excellent?

In the sect of Christianity I grew up in, and am currently on my way out of, there is a predominant attitude that excellence is not important in the church. There are the occasional exceptions to this rule, but by and large this is the way it is. Cutting corners is usually considered a bad thing in business, especially when it weakens the quality or presentation of the product. Now, I’m not saying that “the Gospel” is a product necessarily, but it is something that we want to put in front of people’s faces as much as possible (it’s called evangelism). Read More.

Smoke bomb thrown into Jewish kindergarten in Berlin

This is really not a good sign:
A tragedy was avoided on Sunday after a smoke bomb, thrown through a window of a Jewish kindergarten in Berlin, failed to ignite. However, the school, located in a northwest neighbourhood of the German capital, was not spared by the spray painting of swastikas, other Nazi symbols and anti-Semitic phrases, such as “Auschwitz,” “Juden Raus” (Jews, get out) and “Sieg Heil”, on its outer walls, as well as on toys that had been lying around in the school’s playground. A police spokesman said the attack did not cause serious damage or endanger children or staff at the school. Berlin’s Interior Minister Ehrhart Körting condemned the attack as a "cowardly act" and called it “a particularly brutal one…one that had taken anti-Semitic acts to a new dimension”. Read More.


BTW the swastika is backwards and one is completely turned around. You would think Germans would know better?

Snow Plow

What not to do on a snow day.

The War And the Words

The always thought provoking Dr. Krauthammer on the importance of words, especially in relation to there propaganda value:

National Intelligence Estimates are not supposed to be amusing. And the latest NIE on the situation in Iraq was uniformly grim. But the document's determined effort to split the difference on the use of the phrase "civil war" did verge on the comical. One can only imagine the interagency wrangling that produced the classic bureaucratic compromise: "The Intelligence Community judges that the term 'civil war' does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict," but "nonetheless, the term 'civil war' accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict."
In other words: yes, no, maybe. Multiple civil strife, but way too messy to rank with the classics such as America in the 1860s or Spain in the 1930s.
Read more.

HT: Ken

Murtha Stumbles on Iraq Funding Curbs

Amazing what many (not all) democrats are willing to do to undermine our military. And Murtha is the worst of the lot:

The plan was bold: By tying President Bush's $100 billion war request to strict standards of troop safety and readiness, Democrats believed they could grab hold of Iraq war policy while forcing Republicans to defend sending troops into battle without the necessary training or equipment.
But a botched launch by the plan's author, Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.), has united Republicans and divided Democrats, sending the latter back to the drawing board just a week before scheduled legislative action, a score of House Democratic lawmakers said last week.
Read More.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Real Time w/Bill Maher

Very interesting:

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Inconvenient Truths

Al Gore = A waste of time:

This Sunday, Al Gore will probably win an Academy Award for his global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, a riveting work of science fiction.

The main point of the movie is that, unless we do something very serious, very soon about carbon dioxide emissions, much of Greenland’s 630,000 cubic miles of ice is going to fall into the ocean, raising sea levels over twenty feet by the year 2100.Where’s the scientific support for this claim? Certainly not in the recent Policymaker’s Summary from the United Nations’ much anticipated compendium on climate change. Under the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100. Gore’s film exaggerates the rise by about 2,000 percent. Read More.

A World Without America

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Articles by Americans on Al Jazeera

I somehow ended up in the editorial section of Al Jazeera and found what kind of articles fellow Americans publish on that website. Here is a flavor (warning not to be read by those on high blood pressure medication).

I did a cyber-interview with Carolyn Baker, author, history professor, and publisher of the Speaking Truth to Power website. She recently completed a book entitled "US History Uncensored: What Your High School Textbook Didn't Tell You". Before I launched into the Q&A with her, I wrote a brief analysis of the utter absurdity of the myths of American Exceptionalism, moral superiority, etc.

The thrust of the piece, with Carolyn and her answers to my questions as the focus, is that the abstraction we know as the United States is a pernicious illusion crafted and maintained by the ruling elite to distract the masses while they advance corporatism/fascism. Carolyn and I challenge readers to dig beneath the facade to see the dark and the light (and the in between) aspects of the US.

No doubt unbiased.

Jesus: Tales from the Crypt

Believe me, if there was a shred of truth this would have come out years ago. The fact that it is the movie director James Cameron (of Titanic fame) leaves me underwhelmed.

Brace yourself. James Cameron, the man who brought you 'The Titanic' is back with another blockbuster. This time, the ship he's sinking is Christianity.In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn't resurrected --the cornerstone of Christian faith-- and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem. And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene. Read More.

Update: More good info here.

Required Church Staff Field Trip to Starbucks

This is provocative:

The title may seem tongue-in-cheek, but I assure you that what I'm about to share is truly important for churches in the American culture. It doesn't matter if you're a fan of the Terraza Blend, their Caffè Verona or if you're a card-carrying-died-in-the wool Seattle's Best junkie. There's a heck of a lot that your church should learn from Starbucks...

Where Starbucks has made the biggest impact, I think, is in three areas: 1) They have consistently superior service. 2) They create excellent environments. 3) They have the stated goal of being the third place between work and home. Read the Rest.

HT: Jerry

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Glimpse Into the Underside of a Political Campaign

Amazing, I know this goes on, but to be so out in the open?

Obama and Clinton were competing for the support of an "influential African-American consultant -- a state senator who is pastor of a 10,000-member megachurch," named Darrell Jackson. The Obama campaign thought they had secured Jackson's support, but they apparently were outbid by Clinton. Sweet reports:

Clinton's campaign made a deal, worth at least $10,000 a month, with state Sen. Darrell Jackson's firm, Sunrise Enterprises. The contract surfaced when Jackson earlier this week endorsed Clinton for president without mentioning his company would be working for her. Read the rest.

This may also explain the bizarre fued that Obama and Hillary seem to be having.

Taliban and Suicide Bombers

Interesting little piece of propaganda put out by Al Jazeera on the Taliban. Look at how young some of the suicide bombers appear.

Protesters to defy Mugabe crackdown as police loyalty drains away

Zimbabwe is a mess. I watched go from a relatively prosperous country (by African standards) to a basket case that could no longer feed itself. The sooner Mugabe is gone the better. Are you listening Thabo Mbeki?

Witnesses cited unprecedented boldness by opposition supporters and timidity by police during encounters at demonstrations last week. In Bulawayo, Mr Mutambara stormed through the ranks of riot police to lead a march through the city without being hindered. Under normal circumstances he could have expected a beating and spent several days in police cells.
“[The Government’s] intelligence is showing them that levels of anger are higher than they have ever been,” said Mr Coltart. “They also know that the levels of anger and frustration in the police are very high.”
Read More.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

US deficit is shrinking, for now

This is interesting, and not something you hear everywhere:

Despite the ongoing costs of US military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the outlook for the federal budget has grown substantially brighter.

Tax revenues are rising much faster than spending, according to Treasury Department numbers released last week. The recent trend is strong enough that, were it to continue, the budget could move into surplus in barely a year, one economist calculates.

Already, the federal deficit is shrinking toward about half the size that it has averaged since 1970, when analyzed as a percentage of gross domestic product.

The shift reflects a strong economy, with higher incomes and corporate profits generating a bigger flow of tax revenue. In turn, the Treasury's progress could help the economy by buoying investor confidence in the nation's fiscal position. Read More.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Pastor with 666 tattoo claims to be divine

Delusional. Did he have a visitation like he claims? Very possibly, that's the scary part. The problem is the visitation was not of the divine sort.

There is probably a large measure of syncretism in his beliefs, and sadly it pays well.

The minister has the number 666 tattooed on his arm. But Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is not your typical minister. De Jesus, or "Daddy" as his thousands of followers call him, does not merely pray to God: He says he is God.

"The spirit that is in me is the same spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth," de Jesus says.

De Jesus' claims of divinity have angered Christian leaders, who say he is a fake. Religious experts say he may be something much more dangerous, a cult leader who really believes he is God. Read More.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

1997 Attack on Empire State Building

It now looks like this may have been a political attack ie., terrorism:

Ali Abu Kamal's relatives say they are tired of lying about why the Palestinian opened fire on the observation deck of Empire State Building, killing a tourist and injuring six other people before committing suicide. Read More.

Newt on the Early Elections

Isn't this the truth. I am not looking forward to a prolonged silly season.

Republican Newt Gingrich has a message for all the presidential candidates: it's just plain stupid to start running this early.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Madonna: 'I want to be like Gandhi'

It's nice to know that stars and entertainers are always looking out and staying in touch with us little people. Always the role model:

Madonna says she is not content to be the Queen of Pop - she wants to be like Gandhi.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Liberal Bloggers Demonstrate Their Political Immaturity, Democrat Says

The blogosphere is interesting. While not all liberal blogs are simply a rant a good many of them are. In all honesty there are conservative blogs just as bad. However the extreme anger in politics seems to be more of a lefty thing. Take for example the elections, the repubs lost, a bit of sighing end of story. The libs are still complaining! and they won.

I guess if you want to be angry, you will be angry, whether you win in politics or not:

If the liberal blogs want to understand why so few people outside their narrow echo chamber take them seriously, and what it will take to gain the broader credibility they crave, they should look no further than their handling of the recent flap over John Edwards’ foul-mouthed blogger hires. Read more.

My Problem with Jimmy Carter's Book


But Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,[1] Carter's twenty-first book and his second to focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict, is deficient. He does what no non-fiction author should ever do: He allows ideology or opinion to get in the way of facts. While Carter says that he wrote the book to educate and provoke debate, the narrative aims its attack toward Israel, Israeli politicians, and Israel's supporters. It contains egregious errors of both commission and omission. To suit his desired ends, he manipulates information, redefines facts, and exaggerates conclusions. Falsehoods, when repeated and backed by the prestige of Carter's credentials, can comprise an erroneous baseline for shaping and reinforcing attitudes and policymaking. Rather than bring peace, they can further fuel hostilities, encourage retrenchment, and hamper peacemaking. Read More.

Interesting Information About Our Shifting Culture

Welcome to the information age. These are some of the reasons that people are so stressed out. This also points out why ministry is getting more complicated:

Karl Fisch, a high school technology director from Colorado, has created a fascinating presentation of ideas and statistics that explain how our world is drastically shifting from what it used to be. Highlights from the presentation include:
The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the population of the planet.
There are about 540,000 words in the English language which is about 5 times as many as during Shakespeare’s time.

It’s estimated that a week’s worth of The New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.
It’s estimated that 1.5
exabytes (1.5 x 10 to the 18th power) of unique new information was generated worldwide in 2006, which is estimated to be more than the previous 5,000 years.
The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.

It is mind-numbing to think of how fast our world is changing. And it is because of this fast-paced change why relevance is so important for today’s church. It is much easier to stay relevant and understand culture when change is slow. So the question is: as our world continues to increase its rate of cultural change, how can the church keep up with it all?

Quite possibly it may mean that the future of ministry will be niche ministry that focuses on reaching a specific subculture. Link.

HT: Jerry

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Contemporary Religious Figures Accused of Plagiarism

Interesting: Link

John McCain sings Barbara Streisand

Watch the whole thing.

HT: SmartChristian

Islam Closer to Christianity than Mormonism?


Let's put it simply. Islam is closer to Christianity than Mormonism is. If that causes you to stumble, then you are clearly struggling to recognize substance versus verbiage. Mormonism uses our language, our terminology, but it fills those words with utterly foreign meanings. The most basic definition of a religion is whether it is monotheistic or polytheistic. Christianity is monotheistic. Mormonism is polytheistic. You can take all the Christian terminology you want and try to build it into a polytheistic base, and it simply doesn't work. The root gives form and definition to the branches. Start with a theomorphic man (a phrase taken from LDS sources) and you can never rise above that level. Start with polytheism, and you will never arrive at Christianity. Read More.

Keith Green - Your Love Broke Through

Here's a Blast from the Past

Prosperity Preaching: Deceitful and Deadly

From John Piper:

When I read about prosperity-preaching churches, my response is: “If I were not on the inside of Christianity, I wouldn’t want in.” In other words, if this is the message of Jesus, no thank you.
Luring people to Christ to get rich is both deceitful and deadly. It’s deceitful because when Jesus himself called us, he said things like: “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). And it’s deadly because the desire to be rich plunges “people into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). So here is my plea to preachers of the gospel.
Read More.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Houston blogger arrested for terrorism?

It's hard for many Americans to understand how someone living in the US can travel to Africa for jihad. The ideology of Islam is such that many are willing to fight and die for Islam. If you are Muslim and understand Islam (many Muslims don't really know much about Koranic teaching) Sharia (Islamic) law is the end game.

Take this person who was living in Texas, with many freedoms, yet he went to fight for an Islamic militia trying to instal sharia in Somalia. Why? Because to die in jihad against the infidel guarantees you a place in paradise (heaven). For a works based religion this is as good as it gets.

A good Muslim will never be satisfied until Islam is the majority religion. Whether this happens peacefully, or by the sword, is of little consequence.

A former Houston man arrested in Kenya last month has been charged in Texas with teaming with al-Qaida to overthrow the Somali government and form an Islamic state there.
Daniel Joseph Maldonado, 28, also known as Daniel Aljughaifi, was ordered held without bail Tuesday on federal charges of undergoing military training with a terrorist organization and conspiring to use a destructive device.

Maldonado was returned to the United States on Monday night and appeared Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Calvin Botley, the U.S. attorney’s office in Houston said. A detention hearing is set for next week. Read More.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Bush surplus

Well call me confused:

Market Watch from DowJones reported: “Federal surplus widens to $38.2 billion in January.”

I thought we were going to have nothing but red ink until the 22nd century because Bush cut taxes. But no. Here is the report:

“WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. federal budget surplus widened by 82% in January to $38.2 billion from $21 billion a year earlier, the Treasury Department reported Monday.
“The surplus is slightly below the Congressional Budget Office estimate of about $40 billion.
“January usually as a surplus month because many individuals must make estimated tax payments, analysts said.”

OK, smaller than projected but up 82%. And there is this:

“For all of 2007, the CBO estimates a shortfall of about $200 billion, narrower than the $248 billion deficit in fiscal 2006.
“But analysts at RBS Greenwich Capital believe this forecast is too pessimistic. They look for a drop in the deficit to around $155 billion in the fiscal year.”
Read More.

Scientists respond to Gore's warnings of climate catastrophe

I don't know all the in's and out's of this subject. When people want to stifle debate however, I become leery. Why are so many slamming those who raise a contrarian view? My reply tends to be that they are nervous about their position, so go on the offense first.

"Scientists have an independent obligation to respect and present the truth as they see it," Al Gore sensibly asserts in his film "An Inconvenient Truth", showing at Cumberland 4 Cinemas in Toronto since Jun 2. With that outlook in mind, what do world climate experts actually think about the science of his movie?

Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising assessment: "Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention." Read More.

HT: Ken

Illegal Immigration Fears Stimulate Ku Klux Klan Membership

Not surprising, but very unwelcome:

Fears over illegal immigration are fueling a resurgence in membership to the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina and across the country, according to Klan officials and organizations that track hate groups.
In Gaston County near Charlotte, the imperial wizard of the Mount Holly-based chapter of the Klan says membership is growing faster than he's seen since joining in the 1960s.
"People are tired of this mess," said Virgil Griffin, 62. "The illegal immigrants are taking this country over."
Read More.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change


When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works. We were treated to another dose of it recently when the experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the Summary for Policymakers that puts the political spin on an unfinished scientific dossier on climate change due for publication in a few months’ time. They declared that most of the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases. Read more.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Harvards' new President

So much for Harvard:

The feminist takeover of Harvard is imminent. The Harvard Crimson reported yesterday that the university is about to name as its new president Drew Gilpin Faust, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Harvard’s Corporation, which is likely to recommend Faust to the university’s Board of Overseers for confirmation, could not have more clearly repudiated Lawrence Summers’s all-too-brief reign of meritocracy and academic honesty, or more openly signaled that Harvard will now be the leader in politically correct victimology. Read More.

WaPo article on Feith

Interesting correction at the WaPo:

Official's Key Report On Iraq Is Faulted 'Dubious' Intelligence Fueled Push for War

The correction:

Correction to This ArticleA Feb. 9 front-page article about the Pentagon inspector general's report regarding the office of former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith incorrectly attributed quotations to that report. References to Feith's office producing "reporting of dubious quality or reliability" and that the office "was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda" were from a report issued by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) in Oct. 2004. Similarly, the quotes stating that Feith's office drew on "both reliable and unreliable reporting" to produce a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq "that was much stronger than that assessed by the IC [Intelligence Community] and more in accord with the policy views of senior officials in the Administration" were also from Levin's report. The article also stated that the intelligence provided by Feith's office supported the political views of senior administration officials, a conclusion that the inspector general's report did not draw.The two reports employ similar language to characterize the activities of Feith's office: Levin's report refers to an "alternative intelligence assessment process" developed in that office, while the inspector general's report states that the office "developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers." The inspector general's report further states that Feith's briefing to the White House in 2002 "undercuts the Intelligence Community" and "did draw conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence."

Charlie Rose interview with John Burns

Excellent interview with Burns, who has been in Iraq 4 1/2 years. Worth the watch.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

British Islam

This video is from a British imam who has been arrested. He has a firm grounding in Islamic belief:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Really interesting article from John Podhoretz on the electability of Giuliani amongst social conservatives.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Wash. initiative would require married couples to have kids

Yeesh, talk about being over the top. This is a case of spite for losing an earlier initiative. Even were this to pass is would not hold up legally which is the point. They are hoping it is declared illegal so that gay marriage can eventually be legalised. I would assume the strategy is to try and show that marriage is more than procreation (is not defined) therefore same sex couples can be married. Interesting, though underhanded strategy:

Under the initiative, marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriage would be subject to annulment.

All other marriages would be defined as "unrecognized" and people in those marriages would be ineligible to receive any marriage benefits. Read More.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Poets Against Jews

Unfortunately this stuff is all over Middle Eastern TV:

Lebanese Poet Marwan Chamoun: Jews Slaughtered Christian Priest in Damascus in 1840 and Used His Blood for Matzos
Following are excerpts from an interview with Lebanese poet Marwan Chamoun, which aired on TeleLiban TV on January 30, 2007.
Marwan Chamoun: How many or us Lebanese, or even Arabs, know anything about the Talmud? Or about the book, Exposing the Talmud? Or about the book, Pawns on the Chessboard? Or about another book, The Secret World Government? Or about Exposing the Talmud? Or about Blood for the Matzah of Zion, [which deals with] the slaughter of the priest Tomaso de Camangiano, who was a Sicilian with French citizenship, in the days of Muhammad Ali Pasha, in 1840...
[Former Syrian] Minister Mustafa Tlass wrote a voluminous book about this, in which he included all the documents written by the French diplomats and consul in Lebanon.
The world loves the Jews. The "ruler" is "Christianity - the Christian West. Arabs, Muslims – why don't you take advantage of something like this? A priest was slaughtered in the presence of two rabbis in the heart of Damascus, in the home of a close friend of this priest, Daud Al-Harari, the head of the Jewish community of Damascus. After he was slaughtered, his blood was collected, and the two rabbis took it. Why? So they could worship their god, because by drinking human blood, they can get closer to God. Where are our diplomats and politicians? Why don't we profit from these historical matters, which are presented to us on a simple, eternal, golden platter?
As I've said, these books can be found on the streets of Beirut. There are approximately 20 to 30 such books. I must have bought about 2,000 copies since they were published, maybe more. I'd like to say 20,000 copies, but I don't know. When somebody gets married, instead of chocolates, I give him one of these books. Whoever reads this for the first time feels a chill of horror and disbelief. He cannot believe it. Link.

Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts?

Interesting article, one quote:

Since I obtained my doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England my career has spanned two climate cycles. Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970's global cooling became the consensus. This proves that consensus is not a scientific fact. By the 1990's temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I'll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling.

Make it two:

Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint. Read More.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Imam prays to stop ‘oppression and occupation’ at Democratic National Committee meeting

An explanation of a Muslim prayer:

"In the name of God the most merciful, the most compasionate. We thank you, God, to bless us among your creations. We thank you, God, to make us as a great nation. We thank you God, to send us your messages through our father Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Mohammed. Through you, God, we unite. So guide us to the right path. The path of the people you bless, not the path of the people you doom. Help us God to liberate and fill this earth with justice and peace and love and equality. And help us to stop the war and violence, and oppression and occupation. Ameen."

In mentioning "Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Mohammed" I expect that he sounded wonderfully generous and ecumenical to the assembled Democrats. But in fact, he was almost certainly invoking them in their capacity as Muslim prophets: it is mainstream Islam that all of these were prophets who taught Islam, and that the followers of Moses and Jesus corrupted their teachings to create Judaism and Christianity. So what seems to be a gesture of ecumenical generosity is actually a declaration of religious imperialism and the delegitimization of other religions. Read More.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

MIT Meteorologist Richard Lindzen’s appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live


MIT’s Richard Lindzen called fears of manmade global warming ‘silly" and debated PBS’s Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and the controversial Weather Channel host Heidi Cullen on last night’s Larry King Live.
Lindzen corrected several of Nye's claims regarding climate science. "We are simply saying that if you wish to issue scare remarks, you should make them accurate, according to the science," Lindzen told Nye.
At one point, CNN host Larry King cautioned Nye against making a bet with Lindzen over who was correct about the science of global warming.
"[Lindzen's] from M.I.T. he knows what he's talking about," King warned Nye.
Read More.

Whoopi Goldberg on Hollywood Politics

This is an interesting interview from the O'Reilly Factor. Just a couple of excerpts from Goldberg:

GOLDBERG: Well, I think he's very clear that he is not for the war in Iraq. It's not a new stance that he's had. He's also for years been a peace activist. So this can't come as a surprise to anybody.

No. 2, when I take a stance on something, all I can talk to you about it how I feel about it and why. And I don't have to justify it, and you don't have to listen to it. But it is important for everyone to know that they have an opinion and they have a — have a right to express it.

Catch the crux of her argument? Her stance on an issue is how she feels about it. And here:

GOLDBERG: If you are asking my opinion...
GOLDBERG: Then it does matter how I feel.
O'REILLY: No, you need to think about it.
GOLDBERG: No, Bill. You need to think about it. That's how you do it. I don't do it that way.

She doesn't need to think about an issue. That's an oversimplification but you can begin to get the drift on why liberals and conservatives have a difficult time understanding each other. In a nutshell, conservatives think and liberals feel. It would be interesting to know how conservatives and liberals score on the Meyers-Briggs personality test.

This is an illustration on how different worldviews collide, and why people don't understand each other. This also shows why Muslims and the west just don't "get" each other. When one speaks the other hears something completely different. Link.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Group Opposed to Church Leadership Forms a Board of Directors

This is interesting, a group within Bellevue Baptist Church (BBC) has formed a corporation and are planning a new church based on accountability. I don't really know much about the situation but this is fascinating and a little disconcerting. Should church dirty laundry be exposed in such public outlets eg., websites, courts etc.? Ideally, no. At the same time if church leadership dealt with scandals in a more open and transparent way many of these issues would never get off the ground.

In this case, with BBC it was a sexual lapse of a staff pastor 17 years ago. The problem is, it was an alleged child molestation case. What to do? Again you had better be open and honest. Gone are the days when things can be hushed up. The new paradigm for pastor's is this: with the internet, secrets are secrets no more! With the advent of blogs people can get the message out. (Even if it is not true!)

Honesty and transparency, it's what the church must strive for in a world where secrets can be published with the pressing of a key.

Yes, that's correct... there is now a group of members of Bellevue Baptist that has formed it's own group officially opposing the church leadership. On their new website ( they say... "It is not uncommon for leadership changes within a church to result in some discontent and even discord within its membership. But, for a group of members inside a church of 30,000 to incorporate themselves, form a board of directors, and set out for the sole purpose of instilling accountability in its own church government and leadership is unusual and perhaps unprecedented." Read More.

HT: Ken

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Troops Also Need to Support the American People

In case you haven't read it, this is the William Arkin column that has caused such an uproar.

Update: Arkin loses coherency on John Gibson's radio show.

The Transition Has Started