November 07, 2008

To the 52, From 1 Of the 48

This ain't a political blog, and I've been pretty silent through the campaign. My candidate didn't make it to the national race, and the candidates I had to chose from were not what I wanted, so I held my nose and voted for the lesser of the two evils that we were given.

And the lesser evil lost. Oh, well.

My Facebook status from a couple days ago pretty much sums my opinions up -- God's in charge, and He knows what He's doing. Even when we don't understand it, and even when things don't seem to be in anyone's control, He's got the steering wheel and knows what's going on.

I've run into ZeFrank's From 52 to 48 think on Twitter, and the idea seemed a little condescending to me. I couldn't really put into words why, though, until today.

First, I caught a thread on FlameFans. Seems that on campus at Liberty University, there are some people who aren't being very charitable towards folks who voted differently than they did. I was a bit upset with this, until I started hearing from students on campus that it was the Obama people who were calling people names, etc.

Now, I'm wiling to overlook this. It's a small sample at a school where their views aren't exactly welcome -- can you imagine being a liberal or even moderate Democrat at Jerry Falwell University? Wouldn't have worked when I was there, and I'm not sure things have changed that much. But it sure doesn't sound like people who want to work together to me.

Then I read this post at the Ace of Spades HQ blog, and I realized why the whole 52 to 48 thing sounded insincere.

These are the people who have spent the last eight years calling me a member of the American Taliban. They've insulted my intelligence, they've denigrated my faith, they've suggested that Christians should just go form their own country and that everyone else would be better off without me. They've called the President of the United States Hitler. They've accused me of racism for not supporting a black candidate -- after I supported Alan Keyes in three different elections, and have hoped for years to see J. C. Watts run for office. They all swore they'd move to Canada if Bush was re-elected in 2004 (and then went back on that promise). And now that they're in power, they suddenly expect us to play nice with them.

What a bunch of condescending garbage. "Now that we've got our way, we can all play nice together." No thanks. I'm not going to treat the President the way YOU treated the last one, I promise. I am going to be LOYAL opposition, but I will be opposition. The difference is, I will also be civil opposition -- much more than any of you ever were. But just shrugging my shoulders and going along with whatever you want to do? Not happening. I voted against Obama because of his policies, nothing else (accusations of racism to the contrary).

And in two years, we'll see. The only governing body with an approval rating on par with President Bush's has been the current Congress, and I only see things getting more partisan (you'll forgive me if I treat Speaker Pelosi's comments to the contrary with extreme skepticism). That's not what any of us voted for, and I see a change taking place in two years that will give President Obama a real challenge.

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August 28, 2008

Obama's Backdrop

Everyone's talking about the Temple of Obama that the Dems set up at the convention. My wife pointed something out to me, and I think it's more likely that this is what they were going for:

Compare the set to pictures of the President taken during a press conference in the Rose Garden. The DNC has built their own Rose Garden Press Conference Playset, complete with Major Media Reporter action figures. Veto-Power President Obama action figure shipping soon, some assembly required.

Seriously -- look at the Rose Garden picture here and note the similarities. I seriously think that is what the DNC is going for with this set, and not the Temple of Obama that people seem to be complaining about.

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August 26, 2008

Hmmmmm. BC Bought!

It's been confirmed -- Blogcritics has been bought by Technorati. Yeah -- it's been reported by all the tech sites, but I wasn't going to say anything until Eric Olsen sent us all an email letting us know.

This is a good thing for Blogcritics. Eric and Phillip and everyone else at BC have worked hard to make it what it is today. It's a great place for bloggers to make a name for themselves, and it's a great online magazine. It shows how a "group blog" can effectively rebrand itself into a "magazine" while still keeping much of the tone of the original group blog.

There were some concerns along the way. I remember when the rule came down that nobody was allowed to publish their own material; every article had to be read over by an editor, and only an editor could publish the article. Long time writers weren't happy with giving up their autonomy, and several left. But I really think that the rule improved public perception of the site, and has certainly improved content -- and I speak as one of those editors at the time, who had to suddenly read a ton of articles every day, proofread, suggest improvements, and finally publish them. It wasn't what any of us signed up for, but it made things better. And when I finally stopped being an editor (I was assistant books editor, then full books editor, for several months), I still wrote for BC because I liked it.

I haven't written anything for Blogcritics in a while, though I do owe a few reviews (this month, expect a bunch of book and music reviews from me). I've made some contacts that I never would have otherwise. I've read books and listened to music I never would have otherwise. In short, I love Blogcritics.

And the purchase seems to only foreshadow good things for the site, including some talk of "monetization options for ... contributors". So congrats to Eric and Phillip, who are new Technorati employees. And congrats to my fellow Blogcritics, all 2,500 or so of us -- things are getting good.

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August 09, 2008

Your Best Lawsuit Now

In case you haven't heard (and what rock have you been under if you haven't?), Joel and Victoria Osteen are being sued by a distraught airline flight attendant after a confrontation on a 2005 flight to Vail, Colorado.

more...

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August 02, 2008

Liberty University Students for Obama???

Recent article on a ynchburg TV station concerning a student who is the head of an organization called LU Students for Obama.

Now, the rest of the story.... more...

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May 21, 2008

Conservatives Ready to Throw Christian Group Under the Bus

A perfect example of why Christian groups need to be cautious when hitching themselves to a specific political party or ideology is the Christian Coalition's battle with free market advocacy group FreedomWorks over Net Neutrality.

The Christian Coalition, along with other conservative groups like Gun Owners of America and the National Religious Broadcasters, is concerned that internet providers will start offering high-speed data transfer rates only to organizations that can afford to pay a premium, adversely impacting grass-roots organizations. The Coalition supports net neutrality, which would make such discrimination illegal. By taking this position, the Coalition finds itself working with long-term foes like MoveOn.org, and against folks like FreedomWorks.

Rob Wasinger, chief of staff to Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), went so far as to say that the Christian Coalition has moved "off the reservation," and that net neutrality is not "a red-meat-conservative issue."

Jim Backlin of the Christian Coalition characterizes this as a simple disagreement. "That’s one of the issues where friends get to disagree."

If only it were really that simple. Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks says, "“We would gladly welcome them back into the fold if they all of a sudden realized that 'We have to get back on the right side of the ball here.' Nothing personal.”

The problem, apparantly, is that they don't think the CC is pulling it's weight on social issues. Wasinger is concerned that teaming with people like MoveOn.org is adversely affecting the CC's impact.

It seems to me like the conservative powers that be are upset that the useful idiots are having an independent thought, and they're ready to dump them. "Come back to us when you can toe the line, and understand your role." We don't need partners like that.

Net neutrality is an idea I am behind. I don't like excessive regulation of business, but it's clear to me that without some legislation, small groups (including churches, private schools, etc.) are going to be left in the dust. Freedom of speech is at stake. This is where government needs to step in and pass good laws that protect companies and individuals who don't have the clout to protect themselves.

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April 28, 2008

Jeremiah Wright

I've held off on this topic just because I was enjoying watching the religious Left squirm a bit. It's nice to see them having to deal with their own Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell figure, though I've been a bit disappointed that Wright's "America deserved 9/11" remarks seem to have engendered less outrage than either Robertson's or Falwell's. Guess there's still a double standard concerning outrage on the left.

I actually tend to agree with Mike Huckabee on the whole Wright controversy; any preacher can sound stupid/intolerant/whatever if you grab sound bites out of a 30+ minute sermon. On April 20, you could have gotten quite a sound bite from my own Sunday morning sermon -- "Those people are going to hell. They're getting what they deserve. Who cares?" THAT would have gotten me some press. Of course, the rest of the sermon was all about who cares, and as it turns out there are a lot of people who care, but the sound bite makes me sound like a Westboro Baptist member. So I think it's wrong (at best) to try to determine someone's theology based on snippets of sermon, and I think that's why Huckabee didn't release transcripts of his own sermons to the press.

That said, there was one remark that Wright made this morning that concerned me. He used John 10:16 to respond to John 14:6.
more...

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April 22, 2008

Spread the word

This needs to be spread all over the Internet.

I don't care what your perspective on global warming is; it's wrong to misrepresent the truth to make your case about anything. And it's incredibly dishonest to misrepresent the statements and opinions of practicing scientists to bolster your arguments - I don't care what you're arguing.

Wikipedia is potentially a great resource, but it's things like this that make teachers (and academics in general) frown on it's use as a resource. Wikipedia needs to clean up it's act, and crack down on activist editors of all political and philosophical stripes.

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March 09, 2008

Crossover Votes and Primaries

Last week, I voted in the Ohio primary. And even though the Republican nominee had been pretty much decided (and was, by the end of the day), I voted for Mike Huckabee (surprise, surprise).

My wife works at our local polling place, and she told me that she thought there were a number of Republican voters who crossed over and voted in the Democratic primary with the intention to support a candidate that they felt would be easy to beat in November. more...

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February 19, 2008

Scapegoats, Video Games, and Cowboys of All Ages

There's always one.

There's always somebody who is ready to take advantage of a tragedy to further his own pet issue. Jack Thompson's pet issue is the evils of video games, and he's off on his hobby horse again.

more...

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February 17, 2008

Gosh, Darn -- Charles Barkley Doesn't Like Me.

Sir Charles Barkley has decided to weigh in on religion. Not sure what qualifies him to make this kind of pronouncement, but nobody asked me, and so he did. We're not real Christians, we conservatives, because we judge others. We're too judgmental.
more...

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February 08, 2008

Dobson Endorses Huckabee

The only problem I have with Dobson endorsing Mike Huckabee is that he really isn't endorsing him. Dobson is trying to keep his "followers" from heading to McCain faster than you can say "Focus."

A Dobson endorsement back in, say, November may have helped the Huckabee campaign out. Unfortunately, Dobson was too busy trying to prove he wasn't a Mormon-hater, and cozied up to a candidate with shaky (at best) pro-life credentials. Now that Romney is out of the race (and face it, he's out because of the bottom line. Romney's a businessman, and he isn't going to pour money into a losing campaign.), Huckabee is Dobson's only choice -- especially after the things he's said about McCain.

Welcome to the bandwagon, Mr. Dobson. Too bad you're here too late to actually make a difference.

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February 07, 2008

An Open Letter to the GOP "Elite"

Dear Ruling Class,

Many of you are wondering what's happened in the primaries. You're wondering why Mitt Romney is gone. I can't give you all the answers, but I can tell you why I didn't support him -- and a lot of it is your fault. more...

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February 04, 2008

Stupidity Online: MySpace and the Atheists

OK, I shouldn't have to say it up front, but I'm not a member of the Atheists and Agnostics group on MySpace. I disagree with them, and they disagree with me, and we just wouldn't work together well on most things. BUT ....

This is stupid. Not only has the group been deleted, MySpace isn't even talking about why! I can understand that the group was hacked, and I can see that MySpace wants to control hacked accounts. But if the people who ran the group, and the members of the group, want the group to be reinstated, it should happen.

There was, apparently, a group of Christians who opposed the site and made MySpace take it down. Dumb move. So when a bunch of atheists and agnostics protest, should all the Christian groups be taken down? It seems there are at least 35,000 atheists and agnostics on MySpace, not an insignificant number. And experience has shown me that they are probably a bit more vocal than the majority of people who claim to be Christians -- but that's another post for another day.

Give the atheists back their group. Let them have as many groups as they want. MySpace isn't the place to start a Crusade, or a jihad, or whatever. The Internet is the ultimate democracy -- everyone gets a voice, no matter what their opinion. When we start silencing people because of their lack of belief, we're a short step away from silencing people because of their beliefs. Let's not do that again.

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January 09, 2008

Political Pong

CNN has a pretty neat new game available at their website -- Presidential Pong. You can play as Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, Bill Richardson or John Edwards on the Democratic side, or Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, or Sam Brownback on the Republican side.

And that's the problem. Sam Brownback?? Not Mike Huckabee?? What is CNN trying to say here, anyway? I can understand limiting the field to four on each side, but how did they pick the four? Go play, and complain.

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January 04, 2008

Go Mike Go!!

I'm paying more attention to politics lately. Maybe it's because I got so irritated at the "Religious Right" snubbing one of their own on the grounds that he "isn't electable." Huckabee was running neck and neck with Ron Paul for the most ignored candidate for the GOP nomination, until the CNN debate.

Do I think that it's the evangelical influence that got him the win in Iowa? Not really. Only 46% of evangelical voters in Iowa supported him. Half of Republican-voting evangelicals didn't support him! That's telling, to me. The evangelical block still isn't united behind one candidate.

Huckabee got 40% of women. 40% of "young" voters (under 30). 41% of voters making less than $30K a year. Where is CNN reporting on Huck's appeal to women? Or youth? Or the "financially disadvantaged" folks? (thanks to Michael Medved for the stats)

The answer is simple. It's easier to tell people that the former pastor won by appealing to his natural base (evangelicals) than to admit he's got a broader appeal than anyone thought he would. That a conservative populist message resonates with Republicans just as strongly as Obama's populist message dos with Democrats.

And many evangelicals are letting them "blame" us. We'll take the credit, because the GOP has marginalized us. We want to feel important again. And people of faith are supporting Huckabee. But not just traditional evangelical Protestants.

The fact is, Huck was outspent by Romney and he won anyway. Edwards was outspent by everyone and hit second for the Dems. I really think this is the election that will show everyone that the best candidate isn't always the one that spends the most money to get your vote. It's the one that deserves your vote.


MikeHuckabee.com - I Like Mike!

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December 22, 2007

Christmas, Post 2

Just a quick shout, because I found someone who sort of agrees with me re: giving December 25 back to the pagans and celebrating Christ's birth another time. I still like January 6 (even though that's dangerously close to my birthday), but Rev. James Martin suggests June.

Here's my plan. First, we hand over December 25 to the corporations and let them have their way with it. Let Macy's, for example, tell us that the Christmas season starts not with Advent, but right after Halloween, since that's when they start decorating their stores anyway. Let Kohl's tell us that the appropriate way to begin Advent is not with the traditional evergreen wreath with four candles, but by camping out with surly crowds at 3 a.m. in front of their stores, so that you can buy an iPhone, or some other techno gadget you don't really need.

Give the corporations December 25. It will be our final Christmas present to them.

Reading the rest of the column, I can see some potential in this. No major holidays to compete with, so no "Happy Holidays" greetings that irritate so many people. And the idea of a Christmas barbecue is intriguing, to say the least. Christmas outside, presents under a real tree -- and not even an evergreen. Maybe a dogwood tree.

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December 20, 2007

Happy Holi ... Merry Chri ... whatever.

It is written in the Godblogger's Manual that every Godblogger has to post something about the "War On Christmas." I slacked off last year; in fact, there was only one post from me the entire month. The year before, I ranted about the commercialization of Christmas and the Feast of St. Nicholas. My very first year of blogging, I wrote this, which I still think is pretty good.

This year, I'm going to talk about the whole Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas deal. Because it's getting tiresome, and old, and I think we need to get over the notion that we own the month of December, holiday-wise.
more...

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December 06, 2007

Interesting take on Golden Compass

Hanna Rosen of The Atlantic has something interesting to say about Hollywood's latest "blockbuster," The Golden Compass.

Given enough time and effort, Hollywood can tweak and polish and recast even the darkest message until it would seem at home in a Fourth of July parade. In the end, the religious meaning of the book was obscured so thoroughly as to be essentially indecipherable. ... With $180 million at stake, the studio opted to kidnap the book’s body and leave behind its soul.

I haven't read the books (and don't really plan to, considering what the author's stated purpose in writing them is), and I doubt I'll see the movie. But I do think it's interesting, and a bit telling, that the books are so anti-religion in general and anti-Christian in particular that Hollywood has had to sanitize them to create the movie.

Read Rosen's full article here. Sounds to me like they made a movie about a little kid who fights totalitarianism and wins, when the books were (to quote the author)"about killing God."

(hat tip to the Dallas News' Religion blog)

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November 17, 2007

Big South Champs!!

Congratulations to my alma mater, Liberty University, on their first ever football championship, capping off an outstanding season with a 31-0 victory over Gardner-Webb on the road in North Carolina. LU ends the season at 8-3, and undefeated in conference play. The jury's still out on an FCS playoff bid, though LU has been told they were in the running for an at-large spot. Those are still long odds, but maybe this time next year ....

Jerry's tailgating with Peter, guys. Outstanding job.

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