Friday, July 29, 2005

The Rest of the List

Here is the rest of the list, as promised yesterday. I am surprised he dropped Pedro onto this list. Pedro seems to have proven that he's got another year or two in him at least, so his win total will creep high enough to warrant easy election. He's already on pace to win his 200th game this season.

I don't see Schilling as a Hall of Famer. He's had some good--even great years, but there were too many unproductive years in between, and this year has been a complete loss. He's getting too old and his ankle makes me wonder how much he has left.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Hall of Fame Debate

Despite ESPN.COM forcing you to subscribe to get Peter Gammons columns now, I still check the site. I ran across this article highlighting the 20 most likely players to make the baseball hall of fame at the end of their careers.

I love debating the merits of potential hall of famers, so this article was a fascinating read.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Baseball Bats of the Past

My dad still has a few baseball bats from his childhood in his garage. I remember swinging with the bats as a kid, thinking I was a Silver Slugger. So I can attest to the accuracy of this article by Jim Caple. Modern bats are quite different than those of yesteryear.

Anyone with an interest in baseball and baseball history will enjoy the article.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Obesity and Hypocrisy

Jonathan Chait is concerned that President Bush is too obsessed with exercise. I can't help but ponder the hypocrisy of this concern. Afterall, it is the liberal press that has been preaching for years that Americans are obese and out of shape.

Now that our president models physical fitness better than any before him, "it is astonishing how much time Bush has to exercise." Am I the only one that believes that if Bush was one hundred pounds heavier than he is now that he would be lampooned for being fat and criticized for not modeling physical fitness?

Just another example that the left will criticize Bush no matter what he does.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Musical Worship

For those of you that feel alienated by your church's musical worship styles, you need to read this post on Wood Chips and Text Musings. He has thoughtfully and articulately stated what is wrong with modern musical worship. There are many good resources listed at the bottom of the post.

I echo his thoughts completely. I lament what passes for musical worship these days. I left my home church for nearly a year because of this very same issue. I only returned after the church I began attending forced their senior pastor to resign after he was identified as an adulterer. Things haven't changed for the better since my return, but I felt refreshed after a year long sabbatical.

What I don't understand is how church's that preach the Word can fail so miserably to understand the meaning of worship and put it into practice.

In reading the resources from Wood Chips, I have learned that we're not alone but we certainly seem to be outnumbered greatly. Lord, restore the proper understanding of worship in your churches!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ann Coulter vs. John Roberts

Ramesh Ponnuru has some good thoughts on conservatives' (specifically Ann Coulter's) concerns about Roberts on National Review's The Corner.

I think he is probably right. We can have concerns about Roberts' potential voting pattern, but we would have these kinds of concerns with any judge. I think we ought to trust President Bush's judgment on this. We know what kind of judge he promised to deliver and we ought to respect his word enough to trust his wisdom.

Coulter wants a sure thing, and I think Ramesh is right--a sure thing would likely not get confirmed by the Senate. Everything I have heard up to this point indicates Roberts will be an originalist--not an activist judge. This is exactly what we need.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Deck Building 101


This past weekend, Naomi and I helped my old roommate, Karsten, build a deck on the house we co-own in Richfield. Karsten did all the planning and organizing, so I can't claim too much credit. We spent Friday evening, all day Saturday, and several hours on Sunday building the deck. We endured mid nineties heat all weekend.

It was an exhausting yet highly satisfying task. It isn't done yet--but it is pretty close. As of Friday afternoon there were six holes--three of which had concrete in them. Karsten, Naomi, and I, along with several other people got this far as of last evening. We still need to put up the railing, stairs, and seal it.

A special thanks goes to my brother-in-law, Jethro, for his guidance and advice on Friday evening. He was the only one that helped with the project who had any experience. He was a great resource.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Stranger Than Fiction

One of the things I love about the Drudge Report is the bizarre news you'll find there every now and then. This article is about a woman who became a man, basically overnight, at the age of 21, without the aid of a sex change operation.

My favorite part is her father's pride in his new son. He says,

"I was so happy,” father Kyaw Htay, 46, said about his son’s developments. “I wanted other sons so they could offer themselves as Buddhist monks, but I had only two daughters.”

You'll have to be patient, the link is slow to load.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Media and Kenny Rogers

Those of you that follow baseball have surely been unable to avoid seeing Kenny Rogers attack a camera man a couple weeks ago. It was THE biggest thing in baseball news for the better part of a week. Kenny Rogers' selection to the All-Star game by the players fueled media speculation about whether or not he would show in Detroit, the home of this year's All-Star game.

Well, as it turns out, he has chosen to go to Detroit for the All-Star game. This has the sports media in an uproar. Checking Pro Sports Daily this morning demonstrated the sports media's fascination with the story and moral outrage at Kenny Rogers. There are TWENTY-TWO stories on Kenny Rogers!

Rogers was suspended for twenty games by Major League Baseball--a harsh penalty, but not as harsh as the media would have given. One writer wanted him suspended for the season. He has appealed the suspension and is able to play until the appeal has been heard.

Well, Jayson Stark at ESPN.com has written his own article of moral outrage that Rogers would have the hutzpah to show up in Detroit. I normally like Stark fairly well. His fascination with statistical anomalies is often amusing, though frequently ridiculous. But here, he expresses what I believe is the typical attitude of the media at large.

He writes,

Asked if he was conscious of the national drumbeat of folks who wanted him nowhere near this game, Rogers said: "I wasn't that conscious of it. Everyone has their own opinion of what I should and shouldn't do. For me, it was about trying to do what was right for me. And I thought I should be here."

Maybe I'm the odd one here, but is there really a "national drumbeat of folks" outside of the media? Is the media the measurement of "a national drumbeat?" Sure, what Rogers did was bizarre, wrong, bullyish, and stupid. But come on: get over it. It happened. He apologized already. It may not have been what they wanted to hear. They may not have liked the way he said things. But what is done is done.

The media simply can't accept the fact that a player attacked one of their own. The media bullied Rogers for a week before his meltdown. I don't condone what Rogers did, but there were a lot of awful things written and said about Rogers in the week prior to his attacking a cameraman.

Is the media really free of critique? When they get out of line, will they not accept that judgment leveled against them? Rogers attack was stupid and irresponsible, but it was a symptom of a man who had had enough of being maligned and condemned.

As a big baseball fan myself, I got sick of the Rogers story mid morning the day after it happened. I think I can safely speak for most baseball fans in saying that the media has made a much bigger story of this than it should have ever been.

So my message to Mr. Stark and his cadre: settle down! Get a grip. You got out of hand criticizing Rogers the first time around, and you're doing it all over again. Enjoy the All-Star game. It has been a great baseball season thus far--focusing your attention on something that happened BEFORE a baseball game was played simply takes your attention and your viewers attention away from what is otherwise a very enjoyable season. We don't want to hear your whining any more!

I for one WANT to see Kenny Rogers in the All-Star game. He'll either be the reinvented 40 year old pitcher of the first half of the season and be unhittable, or he'll be the batting practice pitcher of last year's second half. Either way we'll get to see some great pitching, or some National Leaguer's tee off him. This is what baseball is all about!

Terrorists

I was going to write a post about the BBC's decision to edit the word "terrorist" from their coverage of the London bombings last week, until I found this post at Woodchips and Musings. He does a much better and more thorough job critiqueing the morality of the decision.

I will simply concur with his thesis that the BBC is a preachy and immoral news agency. I watched BBC World News every morning for three years--prior to 9/11 and throughout the Iraq War. Their coverage was moralistic and highly editorialized to say the least.

In another piece of news, the murderer of Theodore Van Gogh in Holland on November 2, 2004 has said that he would do it again and that he had acted out of religious conviction. You may remember Van Gogh was a Dutch filmmaker who was highly critical of Muslim immigration into the Netherlands and of their dangerous mix of theology and politics.

You may remember that Van Gogh was savagely killed in broad daylight on a Dutch street. Chuck Colson gives a summary and editorial on his death on Town Hall.

Our sensibilities should no longer be shocked at what Islamic terrorists will do and say. Mohammed Bouyeri, Van Gogh's murderer, is a terrorist. He killed only one man that we know of--but he murdered a man for his political statements. He murdered him in broad daylight that the whole world might know the cost of criticizing Muslims. This is terrorism.

When will the left--specifically the American and European join us in waging war against Islamic terrorism? When will they stop blaming America (even Tony Blair) for the existence of Islamic terrorism?

As a side note, I find it amusing how the associated press chooses to call him a "suspect" despite the their concession that he admitted his guilt in court.

Follow-up:
Here is another article on Mohammed Bouyeri's trial in Holland.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Long Live Google

JT at Between Two Worlds recommended Google Earth on his blog this afternoon. I took a look at it and wondered what else Google might have up its sleeve. I came across Google Print--a service that allows you to search printed books.

I decided to look up the context for my mentioning of "the splendor and the sadness of the world" that is in the title box of my blog. It comes from F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel This Side of Paradise.

I found the context for this quotation. Here you can read it. I believe this to be some of the most beautiful prose written in the English language. Decide for yourself. The section begins at the bottom of page 113 until the top of 115.

Amory Blaine is reminiscing with his friend Alce about their years at Princeton. They are about to graduate and leave for separate training camps during World War I. Being no philosopher, I had to google Heraclitus myself.

If you have not read any Fitzgerald for yourself, I can't recommend This Side of Paradise more highly. In fact I have thoroughly enjoyed all the Fitzgerald novels I've read--which includes all but his last unfinished novel The Last Tycoon.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

More on De-Christianizing America

I have responded to a couple comments on my original post that may interest some of you. You can find the original post and follow-up comments here.

[Follow-up: Greg Koukl has a good synopsis of America's Christian heritage at Stand to Reason. HT to Between Two Worlds]

Friday, July 01, 2005

Reuters Bias

Jonah Goldberg pointed out this bit of bias in a Reuters obituary at National Review's blog, The Corner. The actual link didn't work for me--perhaps someone at Reuters saw the glaring bias and removed the article to be reworked. I was able to find the article cached on Google, however.

It is incredible that Reuters would use the U.S. Military's "massacre" at Wounded Knee to contextualize the age of a DUTCH woman!

But of course, I should know better. The media is not biased. It is simply my imagination out of control, as part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

After War of the Worlds

Director Steven Spielberg's next film will be a controversial movie about Israeli assassinations in response to the PLO's terrorist killings of Israeli athletes in Munich at the Olympic Games in 1972.

I wasn't born for another six years, so my knowledge of the events is only historical. But it seems to be an interesting topic. I am curious to see what he does with the moral aspects of the incidents involved.

The New York Times has some information about the film.