Wednesday, June 30, 2004

John Kerry's Campaign Strategy

I think I've figured out John Kerry's strategy. As soon as he appears in public, his poll numbers go down. He'll keep a low profile for as long as possible.

PC(USA) General Assembly OKs Messianic Congregations

Good news coming from the General Assembly. Am I surprised? Yes I am. May the Lord have the glory on this one.

Redefining "Evangelism"

In the whole Avodat Yisrael controversy, I noticed something quite peculiar. Those opposed to the gospel use the word "proselytize." As soon as someone uses the word, I know something is wrong. That was my first, but not last clue, that something was amiss with Andrew Sparks and Avodat Yisrael. In my interview with Philadelphia's executive presbyter, the executive presbyter mentioned that there is questions about what "evangelism" means versus what "proselytization" means.

Opponents of the gospel, if time goes on long enough, will try to play word games. Oh, they say they believe in "Jesus." But they mean a person who isn't God in the flesh who was never physically, bodily raised from the grave.

Now it is "evangelism" which will get the treatment. "Evangelism" is a popular word. Who in the church isn't for evangelism? I, as an open-minded opponent of the gospel, am not against evangelism. But when I say "evangelism" I mean just stating what I believe with no effort to try to convince someone that my position is true, nor with any attempt to call the person to repent and follow Jesus.

We can see that in the article about the General Assembly.

Rabbi Gilbert S. Rosenthal, who is executive director of the National Council of Synagogues, isn't against us evangelizing. He went on to say: "I understand evangelism. It means to proclaim the good news of Jesus to all people. That’s perfectly proper ... To evangelize means to tell what you believe and why." So far I'm good with that. But then Rosenthal takes a turn for the worse: But "to proselytize mean you’re trying to capture their souls." And Rosenthal warns that history has shown that the one who tries to take your soul "is apt to take your body in the process."

Do you see the difference? No call to repentance is ok. Not trying to get me over to your side is ok. Actually trying to convince me is bad.

Now, I think that is what Rosenthal believes. He may think that Messianic Jews employ deception and coercion. Because no properly taught Jew would convert without conversion. Right? Not quite Rabbi. Leave the stereotypes at the door and free your mind.

So let's be careful with the verbiage. When confronting Andrew Sparks, don't ask him whether or not he supports evangelism. He may say yes when he means "tell people our church is having tea and crumpets on Tuesday." Ask him, "can anyone get to heaven without faith in Jesus?" Ask him, "do you call people, Jews and Gentiles, to repent of their sins and have faith and follow Jesus?" "If not, why not?"

Sparks already answered the first question to me: "I don't know. Let God be God." (That's a paraphrase.) He, in the press, has answered negative to the second question. That leaves the third question.

Rabbi, while you may not like the fact they cling to Jewish identity and believe in Jesus, you don't have to fear them preaching the gospel.

Russia: Links Between Al Queda and Saddam Loyalists Give Al Queda Access to WMDs

Good thing Bush lied and the WMDs don't exist!

Update: Initial Defeat for Those Who Oppose Jewish Evangelism and More Evidence About Avodat Yisrael's Problems

Good news. A sizeable chunk of people in the PC(USA) are supportive of Jewish evangelism. More stuff to come however. Read the article for details.

Guess what the pastor who rents space to Avodat Yisrael said:
Even at Avodat Yisrael, however, "they don’t directly evangelize Jews," said Bohr, whose congregation provides the Messianic congregation space. Avodat Yisrael doesn’t tell people, "We want you to come and meet Jesus," Bohr said.

I wonder how Andrew Sparks will try to explain this one. If he believes in the gospel, why is he ashamed of it? If he doesn't believe in it, why isn't he clear whether he believes in it or not? He's not even willing to tell people that he wants them to meet Jesus? Let alone be their Lord. That speaks volumes to me.

Washington Post Article on Sudan

Rape, slavery, war. It's been horrific there for a very long time. Well-deserving of our prayers and other support. I would highly recommend making a donation to Voice of the Martyrs, which supports the persecuted Church.

Krauthammer Argues War on Terror is Also About Sex

Hillary Clinton: We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.

Marx couldn't have said it better himself.

Supreme Court Rules That Forcing Porn Sites to Restrict Access to Children Violates First Amendment

This ruling wouldn't bother me so much, but the Court ruled that restrictions on political speech, also known as campaign finance reform, don't violate the first amdendment. Even though the first amendment was written primarily to protect political speech.

When that law is used to restrict advertising for Fahrenheiht 911 later in the summer I think more people will understand that campaign finance reform is a violation to the Constitution.

There appears to be no attempt for the Court to try to be consistent in its reasoning, nor does it seem to care about consistency. Scalia is exempted from this criticism, since he actually takes impacts into other Constitutional areas into his arguments.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Greeting From the People's Republic of New Jersey

My home state, New Jersey, long in the grips of trying to be everyone's nanny, has taken upon itself to take money from those making more than $500,000 and directly give it to the elderly and those making less than $200,000 in the form of lower property taxes.

I do not expect to make more than $500,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars. I don't desire to put in the type of hours which I would never get to see my wife and kids. So in light of that, I critique this based on fairness and justice. This is out and out stealing. Stone-cold state-sponsered stealing. "You don't need that money. So I'm going to give that money to someone who is more deserving."

It should horrify all of us that government is the business of determining how much of our own money is enough. And who is more worthy of receiving the fruits of our labor.

From studying the philosophy of the Founding Fathers, I am certain they would be horrified to know that we take the fruit of someone else's labors under the threat of force. Doing so in a envious way is just icing on the cake. We have made stealing virtuous because it helps politicians increase power over our lives, I mean, the poor.

Yes, envy. And covetousness. Assume for a second that a person making $600,000 doesn't need all that money. Mind your own business. What is it to you?

I have advise for rich New Jerseyans. Get out. Move to Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, or Conn. as soon as humanly possible.

Plenty of Pork Coming From Congress

Article mentions sensible alternatives to stupid tax strategies.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Rogue Brewery Gets It Right

I just read Rogue's newsletter. Besides being a top-notch brewery worthy of our money, the Oregan brewery got pretty conservative, which is very unusual in the craft beer industry. It was more in the common-sense, libertarian strain of conservatism.

First regarding smoking: "Bar and restauraunt owners are being sued by bartenders and wait-staff. The employees say that they are exposed to second-hand smoke because they are forced to work around smokers. You took a job in a bar, people. If smoke bothers you, then get a different job!" They then go off on lawyers and lawsuits and extol personal responsibility.

Later in the same newsletter: "Another bottoms up topic - taxes! Yeah, paying income tax is how we contribute to a civilized society. Blah, blah blah...And maybe we should if it was our only tax. But it's not. Take a look at what American's pay: [list too numerous to reproduce here] Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago when America was the most prosperous nation in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, the largets middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What the hell happened?"

You go Rogue! When I'm in San Francisco, I'll be sure to visit your pub and give you my support. Ok, I was going to go anyway. Even if you were hippies.

Goldberg Echos My Reasons for not Seeing Fahrenheit 911

One good thing of the article: if you think Limbaugh is like Moore, know this. Limbaugh and other commentators may be arrogant or unlikeable or whatever. But I don't think they are purposely trying to distort facts like Moore.

And speaking of Moore. I've been listening to my local sports station. Tons of people are calling praising to the heavens the enlightenment which comes from Moore's new flick.

You know what? This movie may be the thing that gets George W. Bush out of office. Given my belief in Judgement Day (not with Terminators), I'm ok with this. You win some, you lose some. Sure I would like to make a portion of America a limited-government zone and let those who crave socialism pay for their socialism themselves, but that's not going to happen.

The sheer lunacy of watching a propaganda film have such an impact is amusing. It reminds me of two sayings.

A lie will go around the world while the truth is putting its boots on. - Mark Twain

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. - Proverbs 18:17

Is Abortion Literally Costing the Democrats Voters?

Quick Article Reaffirming that the Al Queda Iraq Link Was First Made by the Clinton Administration

Repeats stuff already on the blog, but if I don't bring it to you do you think the New York Times will?

European Intelligence Backs Claim That Iraq Wanted to Buy Uranium

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Presbterians and the Jewish People

Pretty soon the next PC(USA) generally assembly will vote on whether we should "study the relationship of Christians and Jews." Let's be honest. It's a vote on whether or not the gospel should go to the Jewish people. A vote for this overture is a vote to repudiate the gospel. A vote against this is a vote to stand up for the faith of our fathers, esp. our Jewish fathers.

Two things:

It is an absolute shame that Avodat Yisrael is associated with orthodoxy given Andrew Sparks repeated comments in the press and to me otherwise. Andrew, if you are reading this, you and I both know what you said. Your soteriology (beliefs about salvation) weren't faithful to the gospel or Scripture. I'm not sure if you believe that "secret believer" nonsense some of your friends in the UMJC are pushing. But stop it. Repent. Preach a clear gospel. Call unbelieving Jews and Gentiles to repentance. Make an accounting for your record in public as well. Place an advertisement in the Philadelphia Inquirer saying "yes I will call unbelieving Jews to repentance." That should rectify your quotes to the contrary in that paper. Notify your presbytery that you will be doing evangelism of Jewish unbelievers. Your executive presbyter told me that you told them you wouldn't be doing evangelism and you were approved under those pretenses. If you repent and change your ways and perform evangelism, you need to do the honest thing and contact those in authority over you.

God in his providence has used an unorthodox Messianic congregation to allow people to fight for orthodoxy. I praise Him for that. I also appreciate His sense of irony, which brings greater glory to His Name.

I talked to Cynthia Jarvis. She thinks Andrew Sparks is lying when he said he wouldn't evangelize. I don't care if he is lying. All I know and all I have to go by is his repudiation the gospel to me verbally. And his lack of commitment to evangelism is telling.

Second thing. Presbyterians Concerned About Jewish Christian Relations (PCJCR). I hereby publicly challenge someone from your organization to a formal debate. It can be live and public or through the Internet (maybe online writings which go back and forth). I will do whatever you want. I personally would like to debate William Harter or Cynthia Jarvis. I've emailed the PCJCR and have gotten no response yet. I just called Cynthia Jarvis. I'm about to call William Harter.

If your position is well-reasoned and grounded in truth, you have nothing to fear. You owe it to the Presbyterian world at large to do a debate. If you are going to advocate a novel doctrine (historically speaking saying Jews don't need Jesus is pretty novel), you need to do this. At the very least, interact with my Presbyterian Outlook article on either presbyweb or Presbyterian Outlook. Let's have a back and forth. Are you just going to simply ignore your opponents (like me)?

Friday, June 25, 2004

Krauthammer Argues That Israel Has Quietly Won the Intifada

Israel beat back the first Intifada and was in a relative state of peace before they attempted the peace process in the 90's.

Website Rates Cheesesteaks

This site is not limited to the Philly area.

You must remember these things: 1) The roll has to be right. An Italian-style hoagie roll. Many go wrong here. The roll is actually key. 2) It has to be the right cut of meat. There is a particular style of meat which many establishments outside of Philly omit. 3) The only acceptible cheeses are provolone, American, and Chesse Wiz. Frankly, I don't go for the Wiz. Most people I know don't either. But it is the original and therefore is deemed acceptable. American or provolone, in truth, is the way to go. 4) Grilled/fried onions are the most common topping. 5) When you are in some Denny's in East Wherever, AZ, beyond morning the fact you have no good diners, realize Swiss cheese is completely inappropriate for a topping. Peppers and mushrooms? Acceptable topping, but not standard.

How do I like my cheesesteak? Onions and ketchup. I usually get a chicken cheesesteak also.

How Do We Restrain an Out of Control Judiciary?

The Constitution intended to establish three branches of government which were co-equal and keep each other in check. Why? Many of the Founding Fathers understood that people are inherently sinful, and that too much power is a very bad thing. Right now Congress is contemplating stripping same-sex unions from the jurisdiction of the federal courts. I'm not entirely comfortable with this, but we are left with few options.

The number one problem with the judiciary is that it has been used to advance policies which haven't been passed by an elected legislature. I have no doubt that a restrained pro-choice position would be adopted by Congress or by most states, even though I am for a pro-life policy. If democratic means were employed, much of the continual bickering over abortion would go away. Someone would win or lose, or some compromise would be reached. When a judge by fiat settles an issue, you get long-term fights over the judiciary instead.

There are greater complications as my undergraduate thesis lays out, but the lack of co-equal branches and the judiciary becoming a part of the legislative process is part of the problem.

Building the Perfect City

Taking a break from work right now. I'm thinking about what the perfect city would be like.

It would have the weather and vistas of San Francisco. It would have the cultural institutions of New York. The immigrants of New York. The pubs of London. The local eating establishments of Philly (the local places you get cheesesteaks and other unique, local, cheap food). The restaraunts of San Fran., New York, and Philly. The public transportation system of San Fran. A beautiful "old city" like Munich with castles and stuff.

Anyone else have any ideas? Obviously, I like elements of San Francisco and New York a lot. Who has the best roads? Public parks? Police? Etc.?

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Google, Making My Life Better

Beyond making it easier to stalk people (or see if your first date is with a weirdo) or being able to convert inches into light years, Google is giving a free email service with 1 gig of space. The immediate effect on me? Yahoo! is now giving me 100 megs of space. Instead of 93% I'm at 7% of capacity. Thank you Google. You are a good corporate citizen, as evidenced by how you handled your IPO. If more corporations acted like you, the world would be a much better place.

Enjoying the Oncoming Collapse of Society

From Greg's blog:

Enjoy the onrushing atrophy. Is the United States going to Hell, western civilization being subverted, knaves scuttling like fetid crabs through the corridors of power and nitwits ravaging the schools in the manner of monkeys in a fruit store? (Yes, actually.) Relish it for the splendid historical theater that it is. A better spectacle there cannot be.

I say this seriously. If you regard yourself as audience rather than participant, the accelerating collapse becomes entertainment. You read each morning’s headlines with zest to see what new and preposterous clownishness erupts from Washington. It is high comedy. Just now Mr. Bush wants to tighten the embargo on Cuba because of its violations of human rights; meanwhile Mr. Bush is running a torture camp at Guantanamo (I don't believe this is true of Gitmo-Geoff). We have a war on poverty that perpetuates poverty, a war on drugs that guarantees availability by keeping prices up.

Me: It is time to rethink the war on povery and on drugs. If you don't kill demand you will never win the drug war. Either get Turkey on everybody's butt or start legalizing drugs. Btw, I have no desire to use those drugs.

But to the overall point: I think they are right about enjoying the stupidity of life. You either enjoy it (at one level) or you get agitated all the time. I choose to be amused by stupidity and irony. Sometimes. Sometimes I get angry. I guess it depends on my mood.

Cheney Curses Leahy Over Halliburton

While I don't agree with cursing Leahy, I understand. If I may paraphrase Chris Rock.

Anatomy of the Halliburton slander:

In 2000 complain Cheney owns all this stock and call for him to sell all his stock. After he sells, the stock declines due to asbestos lawsuits from a company they bought. Then complain how he sold his stock was sold before it dropped. Imply schenanigans. Ignore long-term memory. Then associate Halliburton with the Illuminadi and all things evil the world.

The Far-Left Has Gone Nuts

and they are getting support from Democratic leadership. I read this article regarding people actually believing Michael Moore (or saying they believe) when he argues in his new film that the war in Afghanistan was about protecting an oil pipeline. That's just crazy. Come on people. I'll admit many times I thought poorly of Clinton and I was probably prone to stupid theories about what he did or didn't do. And it is easy to see problems in people you disagree with rather than yourself. So I don't hate or despise these people. But I do feel very badly for them.

Marines Are From Mars, Iraqis Are From Venus

An interesting article about the differences in thought patterns.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Rumsfeld apparently did not approve any waterboarding.

Besides Beirut, Could They Have Picked a Worse Place for the Olympics?

I would highly advise any NBA players not to go.

Great Clinton Blog Entry

I was reading John Rabe's blog entry and realized something. Clinton's accomplishments were primarily conservative victories. Esp. the balanced budget the Republican Congress forced him to accept.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

New Firefox Browser Released

Ok, why would you want to use a new browser when Internet Explorer already works?

  1. It's not made by Microsoft. Microsoft has acted in unethical ways and uses their dominance to move into new markets. I don't like that personally.

  2. Since it is not made by Microsoft, you will see less viruses targeted at your browser. Sometimes, it is better to be the little guy.

  3. Tabbed browsing. Instead of a new window you can have multiple tabs.

  4. Firefox blocks pop-up and pop-under windows automatically.

  5. It comes with a built-in Google toolbar.

  6. It's small and fast.

Apparently Rumsfeld OK'ed Waterboarding for the 20th Hijaker

The media may not know it, but the person Rumsfeld OK'ed waterboarding (tie a person to a board and place them underwater in order to get information from them, but not allowing them to drown) was the 20th hijaker, according to Michael Smerconish who has been closely following airline profiling issues with the Department of Transportation.

I, personally, am not outrage by this, since it seems to be a narrowed request for a specific terrorist and not a general derective. If you asked me when it actually happened (2002), I would not have been bothered in the least. While still not bothered, it's nice to know the scope is limited.

Monday, June 21, 2004

I Didn't Even Know I Was Feigning Modesty

I just noticed in a letter to the editor of Presbyterian Outlook, that someone said I was feigning modesty and then transitioning into exegesis of Scripture.

I didn't know I was feigning. The introduction of my article said "I need to go to Scripture."

I guess it's better to feign modesty than to make no attempt at all.

Beer Definitely Worth Trying

Wife had this beer at a local German restaraunt. It is a dunkel weisse, which is a dark wheat beer. It has black cherry flavors in it, or something similar. It doesn't actually contain black cherries, but yeast can do some amazing things.

Another Involved Article Regarding Al Queda and Iraq

Guy Who Wrote Connections Analyzes 9/11 Commission Statement

A Pretty Good Critique of Michael Moore's New Film

Once I found out that Moore was trying to link the Bush family with the bin Laden family without implying any distinctions between Osama and his about 5000 cousins, I haven't paid much atention to this film. Although I did find the anti-Michael Moore documentary to be amusing, only because he wouldn't sit down for an interview.

500 home runs used to mean something

I think 500 home runs was like 400 home runs a while ago. Impressive, but not incredible.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

A Great Internet Resource

Are you tired of all of those required free registrations on the Internet. Check out this site! Give them an URL, get back a logon and password.

Myth of the Anti-Black Reagan

African-American Larry Elder tackles the topic.

Big Lie Campaign Against Bush

David Horowitz overreaches in his language, but he makes valid points.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Hollywood and Christians

An article discusses whether it actually take courage to make satirize Christians in Hollywood. Answer: not really. Critiquing the pro-choice movement in Hollywood-- that would take courage.

It got me thinking. There are tons of examples of judgemental, hypocritcal, homicidal, or serial-killing Christians, many who "hear from God." There are generally two religious groups which get poor treatment. Evangelical Christians and the Roman Catholic hierarchy. You don't see too many faithful Roman Catholics getting the treatment in Hollywood.

Here is a list of movies that I can think of off of the top of my head: Carrie, Elmer Gantry, Shawshank Redemption, Fraility, the remake of Cape Fear, the Dead Zone (Stephen King keeps showing up), Chocolat, Stigmata, and some recent movie where the killer had a "strict Southern Baptist upbringing." Can't think of the movie off the top of my head.

I did notice in the TV version of the Dead Zone they've turned the bad guy politician who will cause nuclear war into a conservative who, horrors, wants to give you some of your money back.

Time for comments: can anyone think of other films that fit this mold? Sham faith healers not allowed.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Technically, This is a New Topic

There is a followp to that story about U.N. inspectors being concerned about WMDs leaving Iraq, which anyone would be concerned about. But if they left, that means that they were there in the first place.

Ok, New Topic

It looks like Around the World in 80 Days is going to be a massive flop.

Maybe it will have good word of mouth.

Clinton Administration Believed in Al Queda-Iraq Ties

I think this may be the last post of the day on this topic. I just post what I find by keeping an atuned ear and a quick google search.

At the very least, all of this should put to rest the "Bush lied" argument unless they want to change the argument to "Bush-Clinton-Putin-Blair lied".

As much as I didn't care for Bill Clinton, as much as I felt he degraded the presidency in certain respects, I think the man in foreign affairs and national security wouldn't lie purposely nor put us in jeopardy on purpose. While at the time, I felt he launched missiles into Iraq to avoid attention with his scandal at the time, in retrospect, I'm not totally convinced of that.

Putin Mentions Russian Intelligence Showing Saddam Wanting to Attack U.S. Post-9/11

I just would like to mention that Putin was against the war. Again, sorry for letting this take over the blog, but the news on this is fast and furious today. I'll post something about beer later. Or maybe something about the Avodat Yisrael situation.

Cheney Discusses Al Qudea-Iraq Ties

I don't mean for this to take over the blog. It's just in the news today. And, as the blog title says, it interests me.

Cheney rips the New York Times for their coverage.

Robinson Echo Chamber?

Article on Geneva Convention.

Analysis of 9/11 Commission's Dismissal of Iraq-Al Queda Ties

Hey, Unlike the Big Media, I'll actually mention stuff that isn't incredibly convenient for me. (Bill Schneider of CNN did a piece a few days describing how the media has been silent on tons of positive economic news.)

Anyway, the analysis in this article is pretty good.

Lieberman's Senate Floor Speech About Iraq War

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Issues, Etc. Critiques the Reagan Services

from an evangelical Lutheran perspective. While I loved the services, they were not without their share of theological problems. (This just critiques sermons, etc. Not the eulogies.)

Evil Conservative Industries

Glenn Beck, conservative talk show host, tired of arguing against demeaning stereotypes. He embraced and made fun of them at the same time.

I like the "I Love Halliburton" t-shirt. Poor Halliburton. Just minding your own business. Next thing you know, bam! Liberals think you are in league with the Illuminadi.

Fascinating New Lincoln Book

There's a new book about the speech which made Lincoln the Republican Presidential nominee. Apparently, Lincoln argued from history that the Founding Father's intended to restrict slavery and let it die a natural death. Lincoln gave a very lawyerly presentation.

The Clinton Administration's View of Iraq-Al Queda Ties

I guess if Bush was lying, Clinton was lying too. Others have documented what other Democratic administrative officials and Senators and Congressmen said about Iraq before Howard Dean outflanked Kerry on his left (hint: they must've been lying).

Is Europe Weak Because They Fear Strong Beliefs?

Only the Government Can Censor

Scott Weiland complains about editing his own music. I can understand his emotions about his art. It may be a minor point, but only the government can censor. Your record company just wants to sell more records.

Ok, update, I heard him interviewed with Howard Stern. He was probably complaining about the FCC, which is a better case for censorship.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Sometimes, the Best Wine Is a Beer

BeerAdvocate's Top 100 Beers has changed the way they calculate their top beers. While you won't find too many every-day beers on the list, I think you'll find it is a good list of beers which represent both great imports and great domestic craft brews.

Clinton and Cheney Apparently Reading My Blog


Report From Guantanamo Bay

Dom Giordano, local talk-show host in Philadelphia, actually went to Guantanamo for a few days. He did interviews, tours, etc. It was some of the most informative radio I've heard.

Here is his report, which sheds light and dispels myths from those who have never gone there themselves.

U.N. Inspectors: Saddam Shipped Out WMDs Before and After War

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I'm Mentioned In Today's Philadelphia Inquirer

There's an article in today Philadelphia Inquirer (free registration required) detailing the Avodat Yisrael situation. I'm mentioned. My qualms about Avodat Yisrael are not.

Confusing the City of God and the City of Man

When Rome was sacked by the barbarians, the citizens of the Roman empire had a major spiritual problem. They confused Rome with the kingdom of heaven. So when Rome fell, it produced a lot of questions. Augustine wrote his work the City of God, which said they is a distinction between the kingdom of God and earthly kingdoms.

An article by Cal Thomas details how the Religious Right, which since I'm religious and conservative I must by default be a part of, has made a similar error.

The successes and failures of politics are fleeting. If one ties one's hopes to politics, you will be sorely disappointed. A lot of non-religious communities do the same. What else do they have to put their hope in? But if your success and well-being is that closely tied to the political circumstances of your particular candidate or part, you are in serious trouble.

Banned Iraqi Weapons Parts Show Up in Jordan

The Media Is Conservative?

This article does a good job of showing how the current spat of arguments to this effect are wrong.

My critique of this line of argumentation would be the following: many are arguing the media is generally conservative because it is owned by corporations. They take a very socialist belief. Anything to do with corporatians must be conservative. Well, a ton of rich professionals in NYC are very liberal. I don't buy this. And pretty much every survey tells us that the media is overwhelming liberal. If this was 15 years ago, prior to the Internet and alternate media, I would really care. But I don't. Liberals may not be used to other voices getting wide play. But they shouldn't sweat it either.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Garfield, the Movie

I'm not sure if the movie will do well or not. But my gut tells me that this movie was made 15 years too late. Unless it had a very low budget, I would have given the movie a pass if I worked for a studio.

Listening to Reagan From the Gulag

Our Waitress

So I'm taking a break from work and I meet some friends at happy hour at a bar-restaraunt which go nameless. Our waitress keeps rubbing her boobs against us (at least the three of us not against the wall). Right before I ask for the check, the waitress without warning nestles my left arm between her breasts. She can obviously tell I'm a tad uncomfortable. And it was a little akward. I began calling her "maam" to create distance.

My friend has had this particular waitress before and knows she is engaged.

What the heck is going on here?

I'm sure this will help create a bigger tip, but it seems a tad degrading to me. Plus, I'm glad I'm not engaged to her. I'll give a tip: many men are not respected nor treated kindly by their wives. And while men will always be horn dogs, if you want to degrade yourself less, just be kind and respectful. They aren't getting it at home and they probably crave a little niceness. I've heard antecdotes where men hire high-priced call girls just to have dinner with them and listen and not yell at them.

Those of us with nice wives should be very grateful. And just because I have ring on my finger doesn't mean I want to feel your breasts. Or more accurately in this case, please stop touching me with your breasts.

I Met Cornell West Yesterday

I'm walking along Nassau with my lovely wife and who do I see? Cornell West. Now what do I say to a man I don't know and whose politics are not even close to mine?

I made eye contact. I gave a small smile and nodded. He gave a big smile. Looked at me for a little bit, expecting me to say something. He seemed incredibly friendly. (And I can only assume the little toddler he was with was his daughter. She is really cute.)

I would love to talk with him over a beer, but, at the same time, I want to avoid bugging famous people. And I really don't want to have my brief encounter be a brief "your politics stink, how you doin?"

Friday, June 11, 2004

Article of Florida Brewpub

It may explain a few things regarding beer.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

I Got a Nice Blog Mention Today

for my article critiquing Presbyterians Concerned About Christian Jewish Relations.

Scott Peterson's Trial

One of my least favorite legal things is when people get convicted because they weren't emotional enough for a jury. "If they were innocent, they would have been more upset." Ok, I have a simple plan for any jury. Just look at the evidence. People react completely differently to grief and stress. Sending someone away for the rest of their natural life based on how you think they should react is plain scary.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Reagan and Al Queda

If there is something I cannot stand, it is when people try to blame Osama and the Taliban's rise to our support of the mujahadeen. First of all, the Taliban were only one faction in the mujahadeen who subsequently took over.

But more importantly, I do not blame FDR for supporting Stalin in WWII. FDR was wise for not letting Stalin get crushed by Hitler by sending them aide and later waging war with them.

I'm sure if Reagan had a crystal ball he would have done things differently, but this charge is just silly.

Did Reagan End the Cold War?

I would have to say yes. My friend Hwang argues that the Soviet Union fell due to its own problems.

While it is true the Soviet system had fundamental flaws (why would we be opposing communism if we didn't think it had economic flaws?), Reagan, and many others like Congressman Wilson, deserve credit in that era for applying pressure to make the Soviet Union fall. Many at the time were arguing that the Soviet Union had a superior economic system and many more argued that it would be around for the foreseeable future. Reagan saw those flaws and decided to ratchet up the pressure, instead of just letting communism expand into Central America, etc. Many at the time wanted to make accomodations with such an evil system. And that, to me, is the essense of Reagan's greatness on that issue.

The problem with these arguments is that you really need a time machine to determine how much of an effect Reagan really had.

Here is an issue that both the Democratic and Republican parties can join together and congratulate themselves. Truman, JFK, and Reagan are the three shining examples of anti-Communism. They all had the tenacity to stand up to that great evil. Accomodation is never a good plan.

Mr. Biden and Geneva Convention

Mr. Biden went off because we have purposely not accorded terrorists every right under the Geneva convention. He said we should because we want our soldiers to be afforded the same rights if capture.

This is incredibly silly. First of all, Al Queda hasn't signed the Geneva Convention, at least not that I'm aware of. Secondly, they aren't a country. There is a difference between treating terrorists humanely and according to the Geneva Convention.

When they hijaked four planes filled with civilians were they especially concerned about the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo?

Our enemies will continually use the slightest problem on our side as provocation for whatever killing they can come up with. They are really good at making excuses.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Another Article Examining Iraq-Al Queda Connections

Why Are There More Perfect Games Now?

Myth of the Anti-Gay Gipper

A Real Hope for Middle East Peace

Liberals Are Nice, Caring People

And conservatives are just big meanies.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Disagreeing Agreeably

One of the nice things about Reagan is that he did not take personal attacks personally. I was a liberal at that young age. I didn't care for Reagan and didn't appreciate him at the time.

Looking back at the era, I appreciate that most about Reagan. Now, it can't be "I disagree with the war in Iraq." It is instead "Bush lied."

It is something common in all of us to needlessly impugn the motives of our opponents. They can be wrong, but that doesn't mean they are evil. I genuinely believe that liberals mean well. That's why I can be friends with them, while simultaneously wishing they remain far, far away from power.

I Don't Like Bowing to World Opinion For Its Own Sake

Here is an article to consider on the issue.

The Myth of the Reagan Tax Cuts

I don't have the official figures in front of me. But I would take a very good guess that revenues in 1989 were much higher than in 1981, even with tax cuts. So should we blame the massive deficits on the tax cuts? That doesn't make sense if you understand math. Shouldn't you blame excessive spending instead for deficits. Of course.

So you want to blame military spending? Well, you can. Cold War issues aside. I would blame excessive domestic spending. Reagan had his priorities. And he made a deal with the Democratic Congress. Give me a military and I'll give you a lot of what you want domestically.

A balanced budget would have to wait for Newt.

Upon Reflection on That Debate

Isn't it incredibly sad to hear those anti-Vietnam students so blissfully ignorant of the evils of Communism? Apparently, Reagan's Hollywood experience with communism had a huge effect on him (the Reagan and Fear article).

We must thank Reagan for rescuing the world from such evil. Not to mention Truman, JFK, and Thatcher. Those names stand out.

When Reagan built up the military in Europe to balance the Soviet threat, the leftists of the world threw a hissy-fit. Thank God Reagan cared more about being right than world opinion (which means France, Russia, and China).

Vietnam Debate: Ronald Reagan vs. Robert Kennedy

Now this is an interesting thing to find.

Reagan and Fear

Smarty Jones and Ethics In Sports

One thing I noticed about last weekend's Belmont race was the winning horse's jockey. He was apologizing profusely. I now heard why.

Dick Geraurdi, Philadelphia Daily News' resident horse expert, explained this situtation this morning on the radio. Apparently two other jockeys, knowing their horses did not have a chance to win, purposely tired out Smartey Jones early, allowing Birdstone to win. Geraurdi said Smartey Jones' jockey had no choice but to do what he did.

This raises some ethical questions. If you know you can't win should you take out the best person (or animal)? Or should you just simply try to do your best and try to win?

At the end of a hockey playoff series where the Flyers are losing, I sure as heck feel like injuring the other team. But that's the wrong thing to do.

I know the Belmont is hard. I'm sad a good story will not be one for the ages. I truly want to see a triple crown winner, Philadelphia connection or not. But losing this way doesn't sit well. If this is the case, we will never see a Triple Crown winner unless you get a horse who is good as Secretariat. And that doesn't seem likely anytime soon.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Rest in Peace, Ronald Reagan

I Got Published

My article critiquing the Presbyterians Concerned About Jewish-Christian Relations is now at Presbyterian Outlook.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Editor of New York Times Shows Bias

Apparently, the two reasons people vote Republican are greed and delusion.

And I thought I voted Republican because I dislike envy and believe in freedom and personal responsibility. Silly me. It was actually greed. I was found out.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

America's Patent System Is Messed Up

Patents are now used to bludgeon other companies and to bait for lawsuits. Even the most common-sense things get patents. The system is broke and it is hurting our future.

And yes, I'm a real nerd for caring about this issue.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Best Guinness is in Belgium

Walter Williams Backs Up Cos

Yet Another Article Detailing Al Queda-Iraq Connections

The Consequences of Islam's False Beliefs Regarding Original Sin

"Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi of the ISNA [Islamic Society of North America] said: 'Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption... No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education.'"

Dr.Siddiqi illustrates Islam's belief about original sin. People aren't born bad. They end up that way due to lack of guidance.

Well, this is blatantly false. Why would people end up bad if they are born good? Lack of guidance and education? Well, the biblical message is that the human heart is the source of our bad acts.

Since Muslims believe that proper guidance is needed, they believe society needs a Muslim government to turn out alright. They also believe that an obedient Muslim army cannot be defeated. Well, Islam since 1492 hasn't been all-conquering. Hence, they must have some internal problems?

Where do many Muslims believe this bad influence comes from today? The West. Eliminate the West, Islam gets back on track with "proper" guidance.

I have an idea about how to actually win the war on terrorism long-term. Send missionaries. But don't fool yourselves about compromise or making them like us. They don't like you and they hate your way of life. They don't want to tolerate you. They won't stop until your "bad influence" is eradicated. Hollywood, here they come.

In Defense of Roman Catholic Bishops

Speaking of abortion...

Many are upset that the Roman Catholic Church is trying to discipline Roman Catholic politians who are actively pro-choice. Instead of "abortion" say "murder babies." I think such an exercise will allow you to understand the Roman Catholic position, even if you disagree.

What Would James Madison Say?

My friend Greg says on his blog that the idea that the authors of our constitution intended to prevent partial-birth abortion is absurd. You must be truly educated to believe something so stupid.

I would largely agree. Obviously, the writers of the Constitution would be horrified that people would even want to kill their babies right before they were born. But I think the larger point is this: partial-birth abortion should be handled within the realm of legislation. That is what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Judicial branches should not be more powerful than the legislative and executive branches. If they saw what was happening now, they probably wouldn't put an amendment regarding abortion in the Constitution. They would further restrict the judiciary.

Ladies Night Banned in NJ

Does everything that may be possibly discriminatory be illegal? Does every immoral act need be illegal?

Of course not.

People have such a repulsion to discrimination due to shameful Jim Crow laws that they want the government to prevent any discrimination. I disagree.

I don't want the state to mandate discrimination. But does the state need to mandate non-discrimination of private establishments? I would boycott any establishment that discriminated on the basis of race. I am confident that a blatantly racist restaraunt would go out of business, at least where I live. But what if it didn't? Should we give racists more money by making them take money from people they hate? I would rather know who the racists are and give my money to someone else. But I could care less about an establishment that was women-only.

Obviously, these laws aren't going to change. Could you imagine a politician saying "I will let people do what they want (so long as it doesn't hurt someone) even if what they are doing is morally wrong"? Not happening.

Preview the new Velvet Revolver Album


I saw them in Philly Friday night. They were quite good.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Superman's Low Point

Wife fell asleep. I use the opportunity to pop in my Superman DVD. I fall asleep. In pre-school they must have shown us this movie literally every other day. At least that's what my memory tells me. I must have watched this movie more than any other movie and that's just counting up to my fifth year of life. So what do I wake up to? The scene with Lois Lane and Superman flying around and we can hear Ms. Lane's thoughts. "Can you read my thoughts?" This scene is a dark blemish on probably the best comic book film ever made.

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