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Showing posts from June, 2008

Just call me Mr. Charisma

Your score on this personality test was 76% Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural lead, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

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Obama and Dobson are both wrong

A little over two years ago, Barak Obama gave a speech on the relationship between religion and politics. To say that it was a flawed performance would be to put it mildly. Nevertheless, it was a sincere attempt by Mr. Obama- a Christian, though a member of a church body so liberal as to be only marginally so- to reach out to his more orthodox brethren. He deserves credit for that.

At the time, Dr. Albert Mohler, a prominent Baptist theologian, criticized Obama's position on all the wrong grounds. Running a serious risk of falling into the Gnostic heresy, Dr. Mohler rejected Obama's reasonable argument that religiously motivated concerns need to be expressed in the public square in terms accessible to believers and unbelievers alike. The Moral Law (as distinct from the Ceremonial Law which Obama so disingenuously confuses with it in his speech)is the common property of mankind. According to the Apostle Paul, it is written on the human heart. As apologist C.S. Lewis pointed out,…

Obama is right, and Dobson is wrong

Barack Obama's famous speech on the relationship between politics and religion is in the news again. My response to that speech- which had huge weaknesses, as well as one major strength- is here.

At the time, I also blogged on the ridiculous reaction of Baptist theologian Albert Mohler to the speech. Now James Dobson- the guy who decided that Fred Thompson must not be a Christian because he doesn't make a public to-do about his faith, and said so publicly- has repeated many of the sillier criticisms of that Obama statement Dr. Mohler made back then.

Let me be clear about this: much of Obama's speech is disingenous. While it's true that some advocate the teaching of creationism in the public schools, nobody advocates teaching Christianity as such there. Anybody's Christianity. Neither does anyone advocate giving legislative force to the Sermon on the Mount. Christians as a group have been very clear on the distinction between the dietary laws of the Old Testament and …

Cubs 7, Laundry 1

"Free speech," Leftist-style

Yesterday afternoon while I was at the library, a "progressive" went to considerable trouble to peel the McCain sticker from the back window of my car.

It never ceases to amaze me how inappropriately broad so many liberals' reading of the First Amendment is where, say, obscenity is concerned- but how inappropriately narrow it is for political discourse on the part of people who disagree with them.

Ah, well. At least they didn't try to get McCain stickers banned as "hate speech."

Cubs 11, White Sox 7

Being swept by the Rays depressed me. But there's nothing like taking the Laundry to the cleaners two days straight to restore Cub mojo.

The fascinating phenomenon of Bush hatred

Great post here in Stones Cry Out about one of the most distinguishing characteristics of President Bush's opponents from the day he was elected until now: their malice.

There is a great difference between "Bush made a mistake," and even "Bush made a really dumb mistake," on one hand, and "Bush lied" on the other. It says a great deal more about the President's opponents than about the President that wherever the Administration can be seen to have blown it, those opponents do not merely assume the latter explanation.

They patently prefer it. And as the Eighth Commandment makes clear, that is in itself a significant moral failing.

More evidence that the Left- and the media- just don't get this "faith" thing

This fascinating piece of nonsense from USA Today by way of Real Clear Politics sounds a theme I predict we're going to hear a great deal during the current campaign.

We've already heard that the Democrats are planning to make a great to-do at their convention at Denver about "people of faith." "People of faith" will have their own caucuses and events and everything, just like a coalition or interest group composed of people who actually have something in common.

But people of faith- insofar as they are simply "people of faith"- lack anything of substance in common. The straightlaced, traditional Methodist (and there are far more of them than the UMC would like) is a person of faith. So is the sober, peace-loving Quaker. So are the pious Muslim and the other-worldly Buddhist. So are the neo-pagan Wiccan singing the praises of The Goddess, and the Rastafarian flying around the ceiling of the convention hall, high on ganja, occasionally mumbling pray…

Glug 4: This Time, It's Personal

First things first: Cedar Rapids, as you've probably heard, is essentially a smaller New Orleans. The downtown of the city- amazingly- is built on an island in the middle of the flood-prone river. From all indications, the devastation is unbelievable.

Here in Des Moines, a levee burst Saturday night, inundating the Birdland neighborhood- which lies in between my apartment and St. Mary. I had to take a lengthly and unexpected detour on the way to church yesterday. North High, where my former wife, Denise, went to school, is under water. In fact, the whole neighorhood is essentially a lake.

Apparently the damage at Principal Park wasn't too bad, because the Iowa Cubs are playing there again.

About a third of the campus of the Univesity of Iowa in Iowa City is under water. The situation is pretty bad- and worst of all, the Iowa river isn't expected to crest for several days.

On an unrelated note, I went out Saturday night to celebrate my birthday a day early at The Waterfron…

Glug the Third

The waters have receded somewhat. I got to Urbandale this morning (for the library, not because I had to work) over the same stretch of Highway 5 that was closed last night.

Reports are still coming in from all over the city and the state. It should be said that contrary to at least one report last night, the city of Des Moines as such was not evacuated; only the downtown area and certain neighborhoods were cleared of people. At least so far, the Great Flood of 2008 seems to be more of an inconvenience to Des Moinkers not living in the immediate vicinity of water than a real disaster.

Other parts of the state are not so fortunate. This seems especially true in the eastern and east central parts of Iowa. You've doubtless seen reports on Cedar Rapids and Iowa City- home of the University of Iowa- on the news; I actually saw a rather lengthly report on the plight of Cedar Rapids in particular on the BBC World News last night. In that part of Iowa, flood warnings continue, and the worst…

Huzzah! Kane is the NHL's Rookie of the Year!

Congrats to Patrick Kane of my Blackhawks (the one on the left- next to Jonathan Toews, one of the two other nominees), who last night was named the winner of the Calder Trophy, awarded to the National Hockey League's Rookie of the Year.

Son of glug

In 1993, when this part of Iowa almost floated away, we were assured that what we were experiencing was a five hundred year flood. Now, I'm not very good at math, but I'm pretty sure that from 1993 to 2008 is less than five hundred years!

The Des Moines River will crest about eight local time tonight- and word is that it's going to be worse then 1993. Then, I lived in Kellogg- literally, a city (well, a real small town, actually) set on a hill. The mighty North Skunk was well below the town, so while we had trouble getting out of town to the south, it never really threatened us. Des Moines did not fare so well. It is not faring that well this time, either.

Last night I went down to Court Avenue, the restaurant and bar district, for the first time since the flooding began. While I hadn't paid much attention to the news, it seems that Court Avenue had been flooded earlier in the week. Everything was sand-bagged, and gushing hoses led from every basement into the streets…

The waters rise in Des Moines, but the Cubs roll on in Chicago

Well, the flood waters are getting closer and closer to Urbandale, where I work. But my heart remains cheerful.

My Cubs have gotten off to their best start since 1907. They won the World Series that year- and the year after that, too. The previous year, they set the all-time record that still stands- tied only by the Lou Pinella Seattle Mariners a few years ago, playing a significantly longer schedule- for the most victories in a regular season by a major league baseball team, at 116.

The good guys are now 27-8 at home, and 42-24- the best record in the major leagues- overall.
Sadly, Alfonso Soriano is out for six weeks with a broken hand. Now, we have the bench to weather that particular storm. But there's another shadow on the horizon that makes me much more uneasy.

During Walt Jocketty's tenure as GM of the St. Louis Cardinals, I was sometimes tempted to suspect that he was in league with diabolical powers. After all, no matter what players the Cardinals lost, and what mediocr…

The Democrats are clueless about faith

Protein Wisdom reports that the Democrats plan to make a great to-do about "faith" at their convention in Denver this summer.

But why should "faith," in the abstract, be seen as praiseworthy, or even worth noticing? In precisely what sense is "faith-" again, in the abstract- even meaningful? People can have "faith" in a great many things. And even people whose faith is religious have a great deal less in common than those whose faith is in, say, materialism tend to imagine.

Clearly, to make a similar to-do about Christianity, or Judaism, or Islam, or any other specific faith at a political convention would be no-no. I'm sure that the Democrats would agree that to be even more substantial, and single out a particular form of a particular religion- Catholicism, say, or Sunni Islam, or a specific school of Buddhism- would be even more out of place.

So is the point that "faith" is good, but only when it's general, insubstantial, and a…


Iowa- the home state of watersblogged!- is waterlogged.

Parts of Iowa are experiencing heavy flooding as bad or worse than that of the Great Flood of 1993. Here in Des Moines, downtown- with its several bridges across the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers- is said to be a mess; I haven't tried to get there since the flooding began.
So far I've had no trouble getting back and forth to work. Church on Sunday may be a different story; I have to cross at least one river to get there. Perhaps they'll be reading an emailed sermon this week.
Anyway, say a prayer for the people of Iowa. We at St. Mary will be praying the petition in the TLH General Prayer for deliverance from danger by water a little more fervently this week- assuming we can all get to church.

Barack Obama's "cocky ignorance"

Great piece here by Thomas Sowell on Barack Obama's "cocky ignorance."

Key segment:
Perhaps even more important, do the media even care whether Senator Obama knows what he is talking about? Or is the symbolism of "the first black President" paramount, even if that means a President with cocky ignorance at a time of national danger?

The media have been crucial to Barack Obama's whole candidacy. His only achievements of national significance in his entire career have been media achievements and rhetorical achievements.

Perhaps his greatest achievement has been running as a candidate with an image wholly incompatible with what he has actually been doing for decades. This man who is now supposedly going to "unite" us has for years worked hand in glove, and contributed both his own money and the taxpayers' money, to people who have sought to divide us in the most crude demagogic ways.

Will being proven wrong about Iraq help Obama?

The New York Post features an article which heralds news that can only be described as Barak Obama's worst nightmare- and that fact in itself says a great deal.

We are, the Post points out, on the brink of winning the war in Iraq.

No, don't buy those tickets to the Obama inaugural ball just yet.

On the other hand, ABC News tries to make the case that being as completely wrong on Iraq as Barak Obama is in the process of being proven to be could actually help the neophyte Democrat.

HT: Real Clear Politics

The African-American George McGovern

The tentative, hesitant title of this British article aside, its argument is both decisive and solid: BarackObama's extremism and John McCain's experience and competence is going to make this a far different election than Obama'ssycophants in the media are expecting.

It's worth noting- as the article linked to above does, indeed, note- that at this, Obama's moment of supreme triumph, with Hillary Clinton vanquished and the media exultant, his lead over John McCain in the polls is somewhere around the margin of error- in an election which should, from all the conventional indicators, be a Democratic blowout.

Elitist extremism doesn't play any better in the America of 2008 than it did in the American of 1972. And ultimately, BarackObama's race may well be the biggest difference between his candidacy this year, and George McGovern's marshaling of virtually the identical coalition back then.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Another reason to vote for McCain

It seems that John McCain is a man of imagination and vision- and a man who understands that the economic benefits of manned space travel by far outweigh the expenses.

He wants us to go to Mars.

People tend to treat that prospect as a zero-sum game, suggesting that the money is better spend on needs here on Earth. But that's not the way the science of economics works. The Apollo program, for example, generated exponentially more money than it cost. It employed large numbers of Americans, giving them good jobs- and, inevitably, resulted in myriad technological spin offs that resulted in a huge increase in the GNP.

There is every reason to believe that a permanent colony on the Moon and a Mars mission would be even a better investment.

Going to Mars not only is something we can afford to do, but something we can't afford not to do. There are few things that could be of greater benefit to the economy in the long run than exactly what McCain proposes.

Another miracle!

Yet again, the United States military has done what the Left has told us for years is utterly impossible: successfully shot down an ICBM with another missile.

It reminds me of the old joke about how it was aerodynamically impossible for bumble bees to fly. But, since comparatively few bumble bees had ever studied aerodynamics, they supposedly didn't know that.

The same apparently applies to the ability of the United States in test after test to do what the liberals tell us cannot be done.

National Right to Life backs John McCain

Word has it that some Southwestern pro-life malcontents called the Sonoran something or other have been raising a ruckus about Sen. McCain not being adequately pro-life.

National Right to Life disagrees.

Dudes and dudesses, we are engaging in a campaign in which defeat means the election of the most socially radical president in American history- a man so anti-life that he opposes efforts to save aborted fetuses that survive their attempted assassination.

John McCain, on the other hand, is pro-life.

John McCain won the nomination fair and square.

The only alternative is Barak Obama.

Deal with it. The time for dissent is over. The time to either get that final Supreme Court justice or lose all the progress we've made on the Court with the Bush appointments is upon us.

It all depends on whether McCain or Obama wins. And for any real pro-lifer, that shouldn't be a hard choice at all.

Electoral college lining up for McCain

Evans and Novak have put their heads together and come of with a projection of how the Electoral College would probably turn out if the election were held today.

The result: 270 votes for president-elect John McCain, and 268 votes for Sen. Barack Obama.

Their state-by-state commentary and electoral map can be found here.

Of course, the polls also indicate that if the election were held today, 100% of the voters would be very much surprised!

HT: John Patrick Yob

McCain schooling Obama on foreign policy

It may be a long campaign for Barack Obama, who- when it comes to foreign policy- is a remedial student running against Professor John McCain.

Neither charisma nor an ability to thrill Chris Matthews is everything. A president of the United States still has to be acquainted enough with the world and the art of navigating through the rocks and sandbars that lay in wait for the naive and the unwary to look out for the interest of his nation in a treacherous age.

Barack Obama simply isn't.