Monday, April 30, 2007


I would have thought this was funny if it wasn't true. It's Britain's Respect Task Force. Just take a few minutes and browse the site - I found the definitions and discussions of "anti-social behavior" interesting:
A legal definition of anti-social behaviour is found in the Crime and Disorder Act 1988. The Act describes anti-social behaviour as 'acting in an anti-social manner as a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the complainant'.

Climate Of Fear

From the Glenn Beck show on CNN Headline News:
Exposed: A Climate of Fear

Who's responsible for global warming and what can be done to fix it? Why would someone be harassed just for raising questions? Glenn Beck takes on the media hype surrounding the global warming debate and asks whether some proposed solutions would do more harm than good.
Don't miss "Exposed: A Climate of Fear," a one-hour Glenn Beck special report, Wednesday at 6, 8, and 11 pm, Central time.

Global Warming?

If you've been paying any attention to any form of media over the past year or so, you've seen your fair share of coverage detailing global warming, how mankind has contributed to it, and how "we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced." (this from the official website for An Inconvenient Truth) From Al Gore's movie, which is now being shown in high school and college classrooms across the country (even in high school English classes - don't ask me why), to various TV shows, to cover stories in magazines including Sports Illustrated and my alma mater's alumni magazine, we're being bombarded with the "science" of global warming.

My biggest problem with this media storm is that it seems like this "science" is not up for further investigation. You've got the Weather Channel's Heidi Cullen advocating, "If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval." Al Gore refuses to debate critics of his view - not even the existence of global warming, but the "fact" that it's a crisis. British climate scientists are demanding that the DVD version of The Great Global Warming Swindle (which can be seen here) be "heavily edited."

Add to that the fact that Time magazine featured a story in their June 24, 1974 issue titled "Another Ice Age?" According to the story:
...the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.
Among the "telltale signs" of global cooling, the article includes:
  • Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F
  • ....the area of the ice and snow cover [in the Northern Hemisphere] had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.
  • Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin's Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.
Why does it seem like global warming proponents are so adamant about silencing any opposing views, and refusing to let their "science" be further investigated? Tonight on his show, Glenn Beck spoke with the director of The Great Global Warming Swindle, Martin Durkin. Wednesday night, Beck will be airing a special entitled "Exposed: The Climate of Fear" on the "other" side of global warming. Beck asked Durkin, "What should I expect after airing a documentary very similar to yours?" Durkin's response? "Oh, welcome to hell."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

NFL Draft

I find the NFL draft interesting. Not interesting enough to watch all 6 hours of the first round, let alone the other six rounds, but interesting nonetheless. I'm obviously not an NFL scout - I don't see players' personal workouts or performance at the combine - but I'm still amazed at some of the selections. For example, the following four quarterbacks were all 3-year starters in the same conference. Take a look at their career stats and try and guess which players were drafted, and in which round.
  • QB A - 55.9% completions, 8.12 yds/att, 55 TD, 25 INT, sacked 30 times, 138.49 rating, 20-16 record, 10-13 in conference, 1-2 in bowl games

  • QB B - 64.2% completions, 7.69 yds/att, 42 TD, 28 INT, sacked 46 times, 138.59 rating, 14-18 record, 7-15 in conference, 0-0 in bowl games

  • QB C - 57.1% completions, 7.75 yds/att, 47 TD, 22 INT, sacked 81 times, 134.33 rating, 29-7 record, 17-6 in conference, 2-1 in bowl games

  • QB D - 61.1% completions, 7.63 yds/att, 60 TD, 34 INT, sacked 68 times, 137.25 rating, 21-14 record, 14-10 in conference, 1-2 in bowl games

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Baby Trade

This is quite bizarre, but some good satire nonetheless. And for anybody that might take this the wrong way - THIS IS NOT REAL (except for the "True Story" text).

(HT: Iowa Voice)

Common Sense?

Why can't more politicians detach themselves from the D or R that follows their name and stand up for their convictions and display some common sense. One such politician is Joe Lieberman, who wrote a column in the Washington Post about the war in Iraq:
Last week a series of coordinated suicide bombings killed more than 170 people. The victims were not soldiers or government officials but civilians -- innocent men, women and children indiscriminately murdered on their way home from work and school.

If such an atrocity had been perpetrated in the United States, Europe or Israel, our response would surely have been anger at the fanatics responsible and resolve not to surrender to their barbarism.

Unfortunately, because this slaughter took place in Baghdad, the carnage was seized upon as the latest talking point by advocates of withdrawal here in Washington. Rather than condemning the attacks and the terrorists who committed them, critics trumpeted them as proof that Gen. David Petraeus's security strategy has failed and that the war is "lost."

And today, perversely, the Senate is likely to vote on a binding timeline of withdrawal from Iraq.

This reaction is dangerously wrong. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of both the reality in Iraq and the nature of the enemy we are fighting there.

What is needed in Iraq policy is not overheated rhetoric but a sober assessment of the progress we have made and the challenges we still face.
We need more politicians who are willing to be honest about our successes as well as our failures, and to work together to find real-world solutions that don't involve surrender or leaving other people to clean up a mess that we helped contribute to. We are way beyond debating why we went to Iraq in the first place; we need to come together to figure out a way to help the Iraqi people - to get the job "done" - and bring our troops home as soon and safely as possible. That is not going to be accomplished by limiting the military funding by setting an arbitrary and artificial time line for withdrawal. This isn't a game, it's war. And we're facing an enemy that couldn't care less about things like the Geneva Conventions or the Hague Conventions, let alone political correctness. If we had more politicians that were more concerned with the United States of America than their party affiliation or their special interest groups, then maybe we would be better able to trust those in charge with the decisions they make.

(HT: Iowa Voice)

The Compost Pile

As I continue to "work" my way through John Piper's sermon series on marriage, I listened to "Marriage: Forgiving and Forbearing" (read or listen) today. He ended the sermon with an analogy of a compost pile that I was thought was quite good:

So what about the compost pile? Picture your marriage as a grassy field. You enter it at the beginning full of hope and joy. You look out into the future and you see beautiful flowers and trees and rolling hills. And that beauty is what you see in each other. Your relationship is the field and flowers and the rolling hills. But before long, you begin to step in cow pies. Some seasons of your marriage they may seem to be everywhere. Late at night they are especially prevalent. These are the sins and flaws and idiosyncrasies and weaknesses and annoying habits in you and your spouse. You try to forgive them and endure them with grace.

But they have a way of dominating the relationship. It may not even be true, but it feels like that’s all there is—cow pies. I think the combination of forbearance and forgiveness leads to the creation of a compost pile. And here you begin to shovel the cow pies. You both look at each other and simply admit that there are a lot of cow pies. But you say to each other: You know, there is more to this relationship than cow pies. And we are losing sight of that because we keep focusing on these cow pies. Let’s throw them all in the compost pile. When we have to, we will go there and smell it and feel bad and deal with it the best we can. And then, we are going to walk away from that pile and set our eyes on the rest of field. We will pick some favorite paths and hills that we know are not strewn with cow pies. And we will be thankful for the part of field that is sweet.

Our hands may be dirty. And our backs make ache from all the shoveling. But one thing we know: We will not pitch our tent by the compost pile. We will only go there when we must. This is the gift of grace that we will give each other again and again and again—because we are chosen and holy and loved.

© Desiring God

Once again, follow the links to read or listen to this sermon, or go to the page for the entire sermon series here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Go There With You

After listening to a couple of John Piper's sermons about marriage (see previous post), I thought back to my wedding. My wife and I will celebrate our 5th anniversary next month. While I was in college, I heard the following song and immediately asked my sister if she would sing it in my wedding. Not exactly a strange request, as my sister has sung in many weddings. The strange part was that I wasn't even dating anybody at the time, let alone planning a wedding. Well, three years later, my sister made good on her word and sang Steven Curtis Chapman's "Go There With You" at my wedding.
I know you've heard me say these words before
But every time I say I love you the words mean something more
I spoke them as a promise right from the start
I said death would be the only thing that could tear us apart
So now that you are standing on the edge of the unknown
I love you means I'll be with you wherever you must go

I will take a heart whose nature is to beat for me alone
And fill it up with you make all your joy and pain my own
No matter how deep a valley you go through
I will go there with you
I will give myself to love the way Love gave itself for me
And climb with you to mountaintops or swim a raging sea
To the place where one heart is made from two
I will go there with you

I see it in your tears you wonder where you are
The wind is growing colder and the sky is growing dark
Though it's something neither of us understands
We can walk through this together if we hold each other's hand
I said for better or for worse I'd be with you
So no matter where you're going I will go there too

I will take a heart whose nature is to beat for me alone
And fill it up with you make all your joy and pain my own
No matter how deep a valley you go through
I will go there with you
I will give myself to love the way Love gave itself for me
And climb with you to mountaintops or swim a raging sea
To the place where one heart is made from two
I will go there with you

I know sometimes I let you down
But I won't let you go; we'll always be together
I will take a heart whose nature is to beat for me alone
And fill it up with you make all your joy and pain my own
No matter how deep a valley you go through
I will go there with you
I will give myself to love the way Love gave itself for me
And climb with you to mountaintops or swim a raging sea
To the place where one heart is made from two
I will go there with you


I've been quite blessed with the examples of marriage that God has surrounded me with. My wife and I are probably in the minority, but we don't have any immediate family members or close friends who have suffered through divorce. Not that we're surrounded by perfect people or perfect marriages - not by any means. But we are surrounded, for the most part, by couples who take marriage seriously as a covenant picture of Christ and His church.

John Piper, Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, has been preaching a series on marriage titled "Marriage, Christ, and Covenant: One Flesh for the Glory of God." Here are links to the sermons thus far:
  • Staying Married Is Not About Staying in Love (It's About Keeping Covenant), Part 1 - Read or Listen
  • Staying Married Is Not About Staying in Love (It's About Keeping Covenant), Part 2 - Read or Listen
  • Marriage: God's Showcase of Covenant-Keeping - Read or Listen
  • Marriage: Forgiving and Forbearing - Read or Listen
  • Marriage: Pursuing Conformity to Christ in the Covenant - Read or Listen
  • Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 1 - Read or Listen
  • Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 2 - Read or Listen
  • The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission - Read or Listen
If you really want, you can even watch video of any of these sermons at

I've listened to the first two sermons and been humbled to be reminded that my marriage is not about me, or even about loving my wife, but is ultimately about glorifying God, who sent His Son to give His life for His bride. Whether or not you read or listen to any (or all) of the sermons, please remember to pray for the marriages of those around you. Pray that they would be examples, dim as they may be, reflecting the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.

Honor Our Troops

One of my favorite things about blogging is when someone else writes something so I don't have to. I had been thinking about this in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, but rather than taking the time & energy to verbalize my own thoughts, I'll let an Army sergeant do it:

An Army sergeant complained in a rare opinion article that the U.S. flag flew at half-staff last week at the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan for those killed at Virginia Tech but the same honor is not given to fallen U.S. troops here and in Iraq.

In the article issued Monday by the public affairs office at Bagram military base north of Kabul, Sgt. Jim Wilt lamented that his comrades’ deaths have become a mere blip on the TV screen, lacking the “shock factor” to be honored by the Stars and Stripes as the deaths at Virginia Tech were.

“I find it ironic that the flags were flown at half-staff for the young men and women who were killed at VT, yet it is never lowered for the death of a U.S. service member,” Wilt wrote.

(HT: Iowa Voice)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

While Europe Slept

While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within was one of the most eye-opening books I've ever read. I would highly recommend it to anybody. Bruce Bawer put so much in this book, I had a hard time limiting myself to a handful of excerpts to share. From European liberalism that makes the far-left of the Democratic party look like the Ann Coulter fan club, to political correctness gone wild, to incredibly inept law enforcement, to self-segregation by Muslim immigrants in an attempt to institute sharia law, this book contains information - both "scientific" and anecdotal - that will make your head spin, and, to borrow a phrase from Glenn Beck, will make blood shoot out of your eyes.

Here are the excerpts I chose: June 2004, the German economy was no longer the powerhouse it had seemed to be a few years earlier. Despite high productivity, both France and Germany were plagued by low growth and rising unemployment, a direct consequence of welfare-state policies. Those policies desperately needed reform, but voters wouldn't hear of it. For decades, they'd been conditioned to view their social-democratic system as the consummation of human history and American liberal democracy as a primitive holdover from the Industrial Revolution. They've been fed a zero-sum understanding of economics—the idea being that there's only so much wealth to go around, so that the poverty of poor nations is the direct result of the "accumulation" of wealth by rich nations (with America, of course, the worst offender). Hence the perceived obligation of the West to pour aid money into the coffers of Third World governments. That wealth in fact creates wealth—and that the rich can best help the poor through trade, not aid—is a virtually alien concept in Western Europe.

I've mentioned the catchphrase "American conditions." Economically, it connotes robber barons and wage slaves—unbridled capitalism and a total absence of employee rights and protections. In Western Europe, it's generally believed that most Americans have no health insurance, that the uninsured sick are routinely denied medical care, that America has no free public schools, that retired people don't receive government checks, and so forth. In 2004, however, a German author, Olaf Gersemann, published a book entitled, of all things, Amerikanische Verhältnisse (American Conditions), in which he turned the phrase around, suggesting not only that German fears of American capitalism are unfounded, but that a shift to a more American-style economy would provide Germans with greater prosperity, financial security, and economic justice.

Gersemann disproved one flattering myth after another: that living standards are higher in Europe (nope), that the rich pay lower taxes in America than in Europe (in the States, the richest 10 percent account for 65 percent of federal tax revenue; in Germany, they account for 4 percent), that people in the States must take second jobs to make ends meet (only 1.5 percent have two full-time jobs), and so on. In no meaningful category, he found, did Europe's overregulated, high-tax social democracies enjoy an economic advantage over American liberal democracy. (p. 126-127)

Bawer spoke of the fallout of the March 11, 2004 train bombings in Madrid, Spain:

In the weeks after Madrid, the air in Western Europe was full of calls for an "alternative" to Bush's war on terror. But nobody actually had one. And nobody really meant it when they demanded one. Like the urgent entreaties for "more dialogue," the call for an "alternative" was simply a way of dodging the need to take action. If you keep on talking—and keep insisting on "nuance" and demanding an "alternative" and accusing others of "simplisme"—you don't need to decide or do anything. What seemed lost in these calls for "nuance," moreover, was the fact that for Islamists, there are no nuances. In a war between people who had rock-solid beliefs and people who are capable of nuancing away even pure evil, who has the advantage?

Three months after 3/11, an Al Qaeda internal document surfaced. For those who still had any doubts, it established definitively that the terrorists' motive had indeed been to induce Spain to withdraw from Iraq. Written in Arabic, the fifty-four-page document included the following overly generous estimation of Spain's resolve: "We consider that the Spanish government cannot suffer more than two to three strikes before pulling out under pressure from its own people." Shortly thereafter, in a Le Monde interview marking his hundredth day in office, [Spain's Socialist leader, José Luis Rodriguez] Zapatero declared, "I never talk about Islamic terrorism, but international terrorism." As John Vinocur commented in the International Herald Tribune, Zapatero's refusal to name the fundamentalist Muslim enemy was "a bit like newspapers that avoid the word 'cancer' in obituaries with the explanation that they are sparing sensitive readers." (p. 161-162)

Bawer quoted the following prediction from Guy Millière, "a professor of cultural history and legal philosophy at the Sorbonne who began to address the growth and self-segregation of France's Muslim population:"

France will become a Muslim country. French leaders know it. They will never [m]ake a decision that could make young radical Muslims angry. It's one of the reasons why they could not support the United States during the war in Iraq. The result would have been riots in the suburbs, and the French police is ill equipped to face riots. French leaders have no choice except to be the leaders of the Arab-Muslim world. They accepted too many things to go backward now. The rift between France and the United States will become bigger and bigger. France is already the main enemy of western civilization. The most dangerous enemy is always the enemy within, and France is the enemy within. (p. 174)

Bawer speaks about a study of Denmark's immigration policy performed by cultural Sociologist Eyvind Vesselbo:

Vesselbo began by selecting a cohort of 145 Turkish men who, emigrating to Denmark as guest workers in 1969 and 1970, settled in the town of Ishøj, which has since become heavily Muslim. By the year 2000, when Vesselbo's study was completed, the importation of spouses and other family members, combined with a high fertility rate, had turned this group of 145 into a community of 2,813. Those who had married had all married Turkish women whom they brought over to Denmark under "family reunification." Some of these men were later divorce or widowed and then remarried, again to Turkish women. Three married yet a third time—and again, in each case, the wife was a Turkish import. The rate of "fetching marriages" among this group, then, was over 100 percent, while the average number of children per family was 6.4—several times the overall Danish average.

Until recently, European authorities took it for granted that immigrants' children would be more likely to marry natives than their parents were. Of the ninety-eight married sons and daughters of Vesselbo's original 145 immigrants, eighty-nine wed spouses imported from Turkey, seven married Turks already living in Denmark, and one married a Turk who lived in Sweden. Only one married a Dane with no Turkish background. There were ten second marriages—all to Turks. ... If rates persisted, ethnic Danes would be a minority in their own country within sixty years. (p. 181-182)

And some of Bawer's conclusions from the last several pages of the book:

In the end, Europe's enemy is not Islam, or even radical Islam. Europe's enemy is itself—its self-destructive passivity, its softness toward tyranny, its reflexive inclination to appease, and its uncomprehending distaste for America's pride, courage, and resolve in the face of a deadly foe. (p. 233)

I’ve long felt that the best thing that could be done to strengthen the unity and democracy of the West would be to radically expand secondary-school exchange programs between America and Europe. Jean-François Revel has written vividly about how his negative attitude toward America, shaped by decades of exposure to the systematic falsehoods of the European media, was flipped 180 degrees by a visit. If every young European could spend a year living with an American family and attending an American school, all the journalists and politicians in the world wouldn’t be able to twist their awareness of the reality of America—and of American liberal democracy—into an ugly cartoon. And the more America-friendly Europeans are, the more inclined they’ll be to behave like Americans in the ways that count—that is, to eschew appeasement and stand up for freedom. But it may already be too late for such remedies. Europe is steadily committing suicide, and perhaps all we can do is look on in horror.

For in the end, Europe’s future lies in Europe’s hands. To read Churchill’s wartime speeches is to experience an attitude and a rhetoric that, in today’s Europe, seem alien or antique. All that talk of fighting—how uncivilized! Reading Churchill’s speeches, one can imagine Johan Galtung’s reaction to such language—one can see him sneer and hear him speak in smooth, soothing tones about peace, understanding, accommodation, and the need to refrain from demonizing one’s opponent. In the contrast between these two stout, white-haired, well-tailored men—Churchill then, Galtung now—is encapsulated the stark difference between the unwavering moral conviction that led to Allied victory in World War II and the unprincipled spirit of compromise and capitulation that is guiding today’s Europe, step by step, to the gallows. (p. 235-236)

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Watch out Hot Pockets. I just saw a commercial for these:

I'm not sure if the whole sandwiches come in the box, or just the meat. Either way, the cooking instructions and nutrition facts can be found here.

325-Pound Crybaby

The NBA Playoffs began today. The "big" news of the day is the whining of Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal. The Chicago Bulls beat O'Neal's Heat 96-91 in the first game of their series. Shaq fouled out, and had some extremely mature comments after the game:
"My intention was to come out and be myself, until [referee] Eddie Rush derailed me," O'Neal said after fouling out.


He accused the Bulls of flopping and said they had "lot of help out there."

"It's just unfortunate that people fall for that," said O'Neal, who scored 10 points in the first quarter before the fouls piled up. "I'm used to just outplaying somebody and just playing hard, but I guess that's what you got to do to stop Shaq."
O'Neal went on to say that, "The inconsistency is just very frustrating." While I readily acknowledge that inconsistency in officiating is indeed very frustrating, I didn't hear him complaining about the "inconsistency" that limited the Bulls' Kirk Hinrich to just 2 points in 19 minutes due to 5 fouls and a technical, or some of the bogus calls that were called in Dwyane Wade's favor.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Say What?

Here's a headline I never thought I'd see: Abortion: why it’s the ultimate motherly act. Caitlin Moran wrote this column for the U.K.'s Times Online. Here's some of her rhetoric:
... If women are, by biology, commanded to host, shelter, nurture and protect life, why should they not be empowered to end life, too? I’m not advocating stoving in the heads of children, or encouraging late abortions — but then, no one is. What I am vexed with is the idea that, by having an early abortion, a woman is somehow being unfemale and, indeed, unmotherly. ...
Um, Caitlin, "mother" is generally understood to be a name used for female parents. "Parent" is generally understood to be the guardian of children. If a woman has an abortion, then she is preventing herself from being a parent, and guardian, of a child. So I think in the simplest terms, having an abortion is inherently "unmotherly." I don't know what's so vexing about that - it's not rocket science.
... Last year I had an abortion, and I can honestly say it was one of the least difficult decisions of my life. I’m not being flippant when I say it took me longer to decide what work-tops to have in the kitchen than whether I was prepared to spend the rest of my life being responsible for a further human being. I knew I would see my existing two daughters less, my husband less, my career would be hamstrung and, most importantly of all, I was just too tired to do it all again. I didn’t want another child, in the same way that I don’t suddenly want to move to Canada or buy a horse. While there was, of course, every chance that I might eventually be thankful for the arrival of a third child, I am, personally, not a gambler. I won’t spend £1 on the lottery, let alone take a punt on a pregnancy. The stakes are far, far too high.
No, Caitlin, you're not being flippant - you're being incredibly shallow and selfish. I like how you use the phrase "existing" to describe your daughters. I'm pretty sure that in order to have an abortion, there had to be something that "existed" to abort. But I'm sure glad you wouldn't let a silly thing like a third child get in the way of your career or energy. Although, in your comparison to moving to Canada or buying a horse - there are some things you could do to prevent that. For example, if you don't want to move to Canada, don't apply for a job in Canada. If you don't want to buy a horse, don't go to farm sales where horses are available. Likewise, there are some things you could do to avoid having children, many of which don't involve murder: have your tubes tied, have your husband's tubes tied, use birth control, and/or don't have sex. Again, it's not rocket science - especially if you're not a gambler and think the stakes are far, far too high to "take a punt on" a pregnancy.
... By whatever rationale you use, ending a pregnancy 12 weeks into gestation is incalculably more moral than bringing an unwanted child into this world. ...
Unless, of course, you believe in a silly thing like adoption. Because there's obviously nobody out there that would be willing to raise an "unwanted child." That's why adoption isn't even a word - and there's no such things as adoption agencies.
... if I ever did have to have an abortion again, I would like to think that it would be something unlikely to provoke a moral dilemma in anyone, least of all me. I would like to see a time when abortion is considered an intelligent, logical, humble, compassionate thing to do. ...
Whatever you say, Ms. Hitler.

(HT: Tim Ellsworth)

Friday, April 13, 2007

My Thoughts on Imus

As hard as I might try, I cannot separate my thoughts from the media storm that is Don Imus.

I'd like to thank CBS Radio for not standing up for the First Amendment. They showed a lot of courage in making their decision - knowing that it may cost them in advertiser's dollars. The easy thing to do would have been to say, You know what? Don Imus has been making ridiculous statements for over 35 years on the radio. That's why he's known as the original "shock jock." Yes, what he said about the Rutgers was offensive, but in the end, he was basically saying that Candace Parker is better looking than anyone on the Rutgers team. Now we could fold under the pressure of political crybabies like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, as well as the pressure of advertisers pulling their sponsorship, but we felt that it was more important to stand up for the United States Constitution, notably the First Amendment, which provides for the freedom of speech & expression - not freedom of hearing or freedom from being offended.

As I was driving into work this morning, a local radio DJ reported Imus' firing, and then said that people are saying that if this is the standard, then it has to be applied to everybody across the board. I realize that people are saying that (i.e. Keith Olbermann), but they're flat out wrong. The only conclusion you could draw in that regard is that CBS should apply this standard to each of their radio hosts and media outlets. This was not a government mandated firing, as if Imus broke any law, but was ultimately the free market, capitalist decision of a private company. It sets no legal precedent, and the way CBS runs their ship does not mean that all Radio companies (or all companies altogether) have to be run the same way.

Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, released a statement, which included the following highlights:
there has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society.
the integrity of our Company and the respect that you feel for CBS becomes the most important consideration.
In taking him off the air, I believe we take an important and necessary step not just in solving a unique problem, but in changing that culture, which extends far beyond the walls of our Company.

I want to thank all those who came to see us to express their views. We are now presented with a significant opportunity to expand on our record on issues of diversity, race and gender. We intend to seize that opportunity as we move forward together.
CBS Corporation used to be known as Viacom (where Moonves served as co-President and co-chief operating officer), until their split at the end of 2005. Viacom still operates such TV networks as MTV, VH1, Spike TV, and BET. Moonves is missing out on being able to clean up the garbage on those networks that makes Imus' comments pale in comparison. We'll have to see if Viacom President & CEO Tom Freston has any desire to clean up his networks. And Moonves is still in position to clean up Showtime, if he so desires. I'm guessing this "opportunity to expand on our record on issues of diversity, race and gender" that Moonves identifies stops with radio, if not Imus himself.

Stepping back and taking a look at the big picture of free speech, and freedom in general, some questions come to mind. Will we ever come to a time where groups like the ACLU, and "activists" like Jackson & Sharpton will actually stand up for the civil liberties of everybody, regardless of race, gender, or any other so-called "protected class"? Will we ever come to a time where justice will actually be blind in practice, not just in theory? Will we ever come to a time where we don't need "protected classes" because every person will actually be judged on the content of their character, not on some isolated trait that allows them to be placed neatly in a group? I'm guessing no, but I'm hopeful. Part of the reason I'm hopeful in the wake of Imus' comments is Jason Whitlock. In addition to his column I mentioned in my previous post, he hit another one out of the park with this column, saying, "I’m calling for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, the president and vice president of Black America, to step down." Again, I could quote the whole article, but I'll leave you with Whitlock's conclusion and encourage you to take the time to read the whole column.
We have more important issues to deal with than Imus. If we are unwilling to clean up the filth and disrespect we heap on each other, nothing will change with our condition. You can fire every Don Imus in the country, and our incarceration rate, fatherless-child rate, illiteracy rate and murder rate will still continue to skyrocket.

A man who doesn’t respect himself wastes his breath demanding that others respect him.

We don’t respect ourselves right now. If we did, we wouldn’t call each other the N-word. If we did, we wouldn’t let people with prison values define who we are in music and videos. If we did, we wouldn’t call black women bitches and hos and abandon them when they have our babies.

If we had the proper level of self-respect, we wouldn’t act like it’s only a crime when a white man disrespects us. We hold Imus to a higher standard than we hold ourselves. That’s a (freaking) shame.

We need leadership that is interested in fixing the culture we’ve adopted. We need leadership that makes all of us take tremendous pride in educating ourselves. We need leadership that can reach professional athletes and entertainers and get them to understand that they’re ambassadors and play an important role in defining who we are and what values our culture will embrace.

It’s time for Jesse and Al to step down. They’ve had 25 years to lead us. Other than their accountants, I’d be hard pressed to find someone who has benefited from their administration.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I didn't want to write anything about Don Imus because I'm sick of all the media coverage it's gotten - most of it is shallow and full of politically correct garbage. But this commentary written by the Kansas City Star's Jason Whitlock is outstanding. Here's a bit of it, but I encourage you to read the whole thing:

Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.

You’ve given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.

You’ve given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.

Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.

The bigots win again.

While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

Fun from the Sports Guy

I enjoyed this tip, courtesy of Brandon from Wilmington, NC - one of the Sports Guy's readers:
Go to, click on 'maps,' then click on 'get directions.' Type in 'New York, NY' as your starting point and 'Paris, France' as your destination. Once it computes your directions scroll down to No. 23. Just plain funny.
From Roy in Omaha:
Stumbled across a Web site you should see ... it's funny at first but becomes really creepy really fast.
And this video was pointed out by T-Ap in Burlingame, CA. That's a funny looking horse.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hollywood Tax Break in Iowa

Good post here at Iowa Voice regarding the Iowa state legislature giving tax breaks to movie makers who shoot their movies in the state. The first three points of response to this are terrific:

First of all, you couldn’t begin to discuss tax breaks for average Iowans with this legislature, but they are more than willing to hand them out to Hollywooders, who happen to be the richest people on planet Earth (and that’s not an exaggeration).

Second of all, Field of Dreams was made in 1989, and the Bridges of Madison County was made in 1995. Now we are trying to build on their success? Isn’t that sort of like Philadelphia just now deciding, “Hey, maybe we can build off this Rocky thing”?

Third of all, the economic impact of bringing in two movies every 20 years is negligible compared to what you could do by cutting taxes for the folks who actually live in Dyersville, for example.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Come On Back

Four underclassmen on North Carolina's basketball team have been subject to speculation that they would leave school early and declare for the NBA draft. Forward Brandan Wright, the ACC Rookie of the Year, is now the only one left to speculate about. Earlier this week, shooting guard Wayne Ellington declared his intention to return for his sophomore season. And tonight at the team's annual awards ceremony, Tyler Hansbrough had this to say:

"I've definitely decided that I will be back [for] my junior year. Personally, I'm not ready for the next step of the NBA.

"Playing [another] year with coach [Roy] Williams will help me improve my game individually. There's also some team things that I want to accomplish. College is a great experience for me, and I'd like to be here another year."

However, after receiving an award for leading the team in assists, point guard Ty Lawson let his intentions be known:

"After thinking about things, talking to my parents, I think it would be best if I took my skills to the NBA. I'm sorry," Lawson said.

Dead silence.

"I'm just playing -- I'll be back next year," Lawson quipped, drawing cheers from the crowd of about 1,000.

I'm hoping Wright follows suit before the April 29 deadline for early-entries into the NBA Draft. He could definitely use some work - and some muscle - before taking his game to the next level. But Carolina does have the depth to handle his loss if necessary - with rising sophomores Deon Thompson and Alex Stepheson.

Don Imus

Anybody have any idea what's going on with Don Imus?

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Last Jihad

I've never been one to do an actual review of a book. As I've previously done, I'd like to share bits & pieces from a book I've read. I just finished The Last Jihad, by Joel C. Rosenberg. If you like political thrillers and/or apocalyptic novels, you'll want to check this book out. As taken from the dust jacket, Rosenberg "has worked for some of the world's most influential and provocative leaders, including Steve Forbes, Rush Limbaugh, and former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu." Learn more about Rosenberg here, and his spiritual journey here. Or take a look at his blog.

Now that I've gotten some links out of the way, on to some parts of the book that really caught my attention. I wouldn't necessarily consider this stuff "spoiler" information, but if you think you might want to read this book, then you may want to skip the rest of this post. And if you've read his other books, please refrain from spoiling them in the comments section, as I have yet to read them. Without further ado...

In Rosenberg's story, the President of the United States is considering, along with the National Security Council, the possibility of attacking Iraq, who has been found responsible for assassination attempts on the leaders of several countries, including the U.S. President. When asked to voice his thoughts, the Vice President offers these words:
     "Could we invade Western Iraq and move towards Baghdad and occupy the city and find Saddam and shut him down? Given six to nine months? Yes. Given the willingness to lose upwards of ten thousand to twenty thousand American soldiers, at least, maybe many more? Probably. Would U.S. public opinion support that? Doubtful. Would our alliance hold, particularly in the Arab world? Absolutely not. Could it become our next Vietnam? Absolutely. You were there, Jim--Mr. President. You know what it was like. You want to go back?" (p. 236)
The Secretary of State opposes any thoughts of using nuclear force against Iraq:
     "How can you even begin to consider incinerating several million souls with the push of a button, in the blink of an eye? We cannot become the barbarians we've been forced to fight. The end never justifies the means. Never. That was the lesson of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That was the lesson of Vietnam. And that was the lesson of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan. My God, how can you..."
     "Mr. Secretary, that's absolutely not true," the president shot back, firmly but fiercely. "That is not true. It just isn't. The lesson of Vietnam was never fight a just war--a war against an Evil Empire and its proxies who seek to enslave mankind--unless you intend to win. The lesson of Afghanistan was don't fight a war you have no business winning. And the lesson of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Mr. Secretary, was that a president must never--never--flinch from using any and all means necessary to prevent the wholesale slaughter of American citizens and our allies." (p. 248)
Here, Dietrich "Deek" Black, a 25-year veteran of the FBI, is sharing some insight with Jon Bennett and Erin McCoy. The subject is Dr. Eliezer Mordechai, an Israeli intelligence officer who Black considers "One of the best in the world:"
     "I met with Dr. Mordechai at this party and then we had lunch the next day. We talked a lot about Saddam and Iraq and the prospect of something going down. And I'll never forget something he said."
     "Why? What was it?" asked McCoy.
     "He said, and I quote: 'The problem with you Americans is that you don't believe in evil.' "
     "What's that supposed to mean?"
     "That's what I said. So he went on to explain that in his opinion, the CIA and FBI and definitely the guys at State don't properly anticipate horrible, catastrophic events because we don't really believe in the presence of evil, the presence of a dark and wicked and nefarious spiritual dimension that drives men to do the unthinkable. So I say, 'I don't know that you're talking about.' And he goes, 'Exactly. A man like Saddam Hussein, for example. Saddam tells the world for years that he has a territorial claim on Kuwait. Builds up his armed forces. Develops weapons of mass destruction. Moves troops to the border. Signals everyone he's going in. But all the boys and girls at the CIA and DIA say Saddam won't do it. Just wants to drive up the price of oil. Just saber-rattling. Just flexing his muscles. Couldn't possibly invade. Why would he? It would make no sense. It would be irrational. No Arab nation has ever invaded another Arab nation. Why start now?' "
     "And the good doctor thought our guys were wrong?" asked Bennett, apparently listening more closely than Black had realized.
     "They were wrong."
     "Well, obviously. But we couldn't have known that at the time."
     "No, we could have. That's what he was saying. Saddam was painting us a road map, and we simply didn't believe he'd start the car and take the trip."
     "Nobody did, Deek. You'd have needed a crystal ball to get inside the mind of Saddam Hussein and divine what he was going to do next. The guy's a lunatic."
     "No, no, no," said Black. "You're missing the point. That's exactly what Dr. Mordechai was trying to say. On the one hand, we tell ourselves that Saddam is a rational person but a liar. He says he'll invade Kuwait, but we say he doesn't mean it. He's just lying. He's just bluffing. He's just playing with our heads. But then when he did invade, we decided he was a lunatic--crazy, unpredictable, irrational, a nut case."
     "So what's your point? Or his?"
     "Dr. M's point is that there's a third option--Saddam Hussein is not a lunatic and, in that case, he wasn't a liar. He was rational and calculating and evil. So he told the world what he was going to do--commit an act of evil, not an act of madness--and then he did it. It took a bunch of highly paid analysts with Harvard degrees to completely miss the simplicity of the moment."
     "Hey, I resemble that remark," deadpanned Bennett, with his MBA from the Harvard Business School.
     "Hey, so do I, brother," Black reminded him, another Harvard alum.
     "That's why I went to Wharton, boys." McCoy smiled. "But seriously, he thinks he could have done better?"
     "He did do better. We were having lunch at an outdoor cafe in the Old City and he told me point-blank Saddam was going in, even told me the day--August 5. He was only off by three days."
     "Did he have some inside info?"
     "No. He said he didn't need any. He said everything a person needed to know in terms of basic intelligence, basic fact-finding, could be found in the newspapers. But he stressed that intelligence is about more than simply finding out facts. It's about properly analyzing those facts. It's about drawing the right conclusions, even based on incomplete evidence. In this case, the only difference between Dr. Eliezer Mordechai and the top leadership of the U.S. government was that Mordechai took Saddam Hussein at his word, and we didn't. Or, to put it in his words, and I quote: 'I believe Saddam Hussein is both capable of and prone to acts of unspeakable evil, and you don't. I'm right, and you're wrong. It's not because I know more than your government. I don't. I know less. But I believe that evil forces make evil men do evil things. That's how I anticipate what can and will happen next in life. That's how I got to be the head of the Mossad, young man. And why I'm good at it. It's going to be one hell of an August, and my country is going to suffer very badly because your country doesn't believe in evil, and mine was born out of the ashes of the Holocaust.' " (p. 279-281)
And finally, a part that wasn't really a major part of the storyline, but it stuck out to me nonetheless. Bennett is asking McCoy about losing her mother to cancer:
     "How'd you handle it, losing your mom, I mean?"
     "I don't know. The only good thing was we both knew she was dying. We knew she only had a few months left. She really wanted to prepare me for it. We did her will together. We picked out songs for her funeral. Flowers. The whole thing. I remember she once heard a sermon about a woman who'd also died of cancer. And the woman had come to her pastor and told him exactly what she wanted at her funeral and what Bible verses to read and everything. And then, when she was all done, she told him that she wanted to be laid out in an open casket with a fork in her right hand. And the pastor says, 'A fork? Why a fork?' And she says, 'When I was a little girl, I used to love church suppers. And when the meal was done, and the people were clearing the dishes, one of the older women in the church would always come over and lean down and whisper to me, save your fork. And I loved that. Because I knew it meant something better was coming--apple pie or chocolate cake or blueberry cobbler, or something. And pastor,' she said, 'when I die, I want people to come by and see me and then ask you, Why's she got a fork in her hand? And I want you to tell them my little story, and then tell them the good news--that when you know Christ, you know there's something better coming. There's something better coming.' "
     Bennett could see McCoy holding back her emotions.
     "My mom loved that story. She had a tape of that sermon and she played it over and over. So she asked me to make sure she had a fork in her hand at her funeral. She wanted her friends to know--she wanted me to know--that when you know Jesus Christ in a real and personal way, there's something better coming."
     McCoy turned and looked Bennett straight in the eye.
     "That's how I deal with it, Jon. I know there's something better coming." (p. 300-301)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Resurrection

I found these videos on YouTube, and wanted to share them - I've shared the lyrics for each of these songs before. I pray that this weekend will bring you a new understanding, appreciation, and love for the resurrected Christ.

In Christ Alone:

The Power Of The Cross:

How Deep The Father's Love For Us:

See also some other lyrics I've previously posted: The Glory of the Cross, Before the Throne, and By His Wounds, which can be heard at this MySpace page.

Organic Fuels

Glenn Beck is taking votes for hydrocarbon window/bumper stickers on his website. This one's got my vote:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New Hire

Kind of interesting to hire the Division I Coach of the Year, even more so when he is, at best, your third choice. But that's just what the University of Iowa got, hiring former Butler coach Todd Lickliter to replace the departed Steve Alford. After talking to Dana Altman, who's now leaving Creighton to take the Arkansas job, and being turned down by Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings, Iowa found their man in Lickliter, who was voted as the Coach of the Year this season by the National Association of Basketball Coaches after leading the Bulldogs to a Horizon League record 29 wins and a Sweet 16 appearance before falling to the eventual champion Florida Gators. Here's to hoping the Lickliter era is smoother and more successful than the Alford era. (Although I also hope the Alford era at New Mexico is smoother & more successful than it was at Iowa.)

Upon further review, Dana Altman has changed his mind and is returning to Creighton:
The coach apologized to Razorbacks fans "with deep regret" and said returning to Creighton was in his family's best interest.
And here I thought that he would have talked to his family before taking the Arkansas job in the first place. What really surprises me is how often this happens. It seems like almost every year a coach goes through a press conference with his new school before deciding to return to his original school.