Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Gore's Hypocrisy

Al Gore wants you and I to reduce our "carbon footprint" and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and so on, yet he uses more energy in one month than the average American househould does in one year!

A Gore spokeswoman responded that the Gore's drive a hybrid SUV, use compact fluorescent bulbs, and are installing solar panels. That is fine, I suppose, but how can one such as Gore demand everyone else reduce their energy usage yet he himself use so much?

This is of course typical of the left. They demand of everyone but themselves, "the elite," or "privileged." They are the only ones immune from their own demands. It is utterly ridiculous, and this demonstrates that Gore himself isn't willing to sacrifice as he calls others to do. How serious a threat is global warming when one of its high priests won't even live by his credo?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ms. Pelosi's Cake

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is upset with Vice President Cheney for his remarks in Tokyo concerning the Democrat's Iraq policies. Cheney said,

"I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the Al Qaeda strategy. The Al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people ... try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit."

What Speaker Pelosi wants is freedom of accountability. She complained about Cheney's comments to President Bush by saying,

"You cannot say as the president of the United States, 'I welcome disagreement in a time of war,' and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country."

Is Cheney wrong in his assessment? How can a troop pull-out be seen as anything other than surrendering to the Al Qaeda strategy?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Top 11 Honorary Degrees the University of Minnesota is Considering In Addition to Doctor of Climatology for Al Gore

Nihilist in Golf Pants has an hilarious list of honorary degrees that the University of Minnesota plans will confer after giving Al Gore an honorary doctorate.

11. Britney Spears, Doctor of Hairdressing

10. Vox Day, Masters of Women’s Studies

9. Judi Dutcher, Masters of Bio Based Sciences

8. Kate Parry, Doctor of Child Psychology

7. Anna Nicole Smith, Doctor of Mortuary Science

6. Paul Reubens, Masters of His Domain

5. Amanda Marcotte, Doctor of Religious Studies

4. Brad Childress - Doctor of Game Theory and Strategy

3. Al Franken, Doctor of Pharmacology

2. NIGP, Associates' Degree in accounting

1. Barak Obama, Doctor of Audacity

Pat Neshek Interview

Seth Stohs has an excellent interview with Twins relief pitcher Pat Neshek. The most revealing bit of information in the interview is that Neshek is working on a new pitch during spring training. Here is what he writes,

"I think I'm going to go back to a pitch I threw a little in 2004. It's basically a submarine fastball, kind of like Chad Bradford, Wes Littleton or Cla Meredith's. All my pitches are thrown from the side and this one is coming from under…I throw it as hard as I can and it sits around 84-86 with a lot of sink. I'm going to use this for lefties and it'll get a lot of groundballs hopefully. This will be a big pitch if I can master it."

If Neshek can pitch better against left handed hitters, he will be even more dominant. Last season righties hit .140 against him, but lefties hi .244. He also gave up four home runs to lefties in 12IP, versus two home runs to righties in 25IP.

Raise the Gas Tax?

Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar wants Minnesota to raise its gas tax to meet requirements for matching federal transportation funds. Is it not these same Democrats that decry oil companies for gouging consumers each year? Yet now, they want a piece of the pie, without any accountability!

It is utter hypocrisy to investigate oil companies for making money while the government is responsible for a federal $0.184 per gallon tax in addition to a Minnesota $0.20 per gallon tax. That is evidently not enough.

Will Democrats like Oberstar demand that we increase gasoline taxes each time the federal government increases requirements for matching funds? Isn't he responsible for the federal requirement in the first place?

Mr. Oberstar, you are a hypocrite and lack fiscal integrity. Do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor and retire already.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Spring is on the March

The snow has begun to melt here in Minnesota and forty-degree temperatures are upon us. More snow and more cold is in the forecast yet, but now that spring training is here--there is little the weather can do to dull the optimism baseball fans now possess.

The long awaited sights and sounds of spring and the baseball season have arrived. Pitchers and catchers have all reported to their spring training facilities and position players must arrive by the end of the week. Soon exhibition games will be played and rosters will be set.

I for one can hardly wait for the first pitch to be thrown, for scouring the box scores from the previous night, for looking for the diamond in the rough on my fantasy league waiver wire, for Johan Santana to strike out the side, for Joe Mauer to hit another clutch home run, and for another Twins pitcher to prove himself like Francisco Liriano last season.

Play ball!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Pastoral Search

The church where my wife and I attend, All Nations Christian Fellowship, is currently looking for a preaching pastor to join us. We are a church plant located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota that came from Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. The job description is posted on the church website.

If you know a man that would be a good fit, please send him a link to the job description.

Many Thanks!

I'm Speechless...



I would have needed a diaper.

HT: Deadspin
Youtube

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Strange as Fiction

Sometimes life has a way of defying logic and believability:

BANGKOK, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A woman who boarded the wrong bus on an attempted shopping trip from Thailand to Malaysia has returned home after 25 years.

Jaeyana Beuraheng told her eight children she accidentally boarded a bus bound for Bangkok instead of Malaysia, and once there she boarded a second incorrect bus because she could not read or speak Thai or English, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Beuraheng, who speaks only the Yawi dialect used by Muslims in southern Thailand, said the noise and traffic of the big city confused and disoriented her, leading her to board the second wrong bus to Chiang Mai, near the border with Burma.

The woman said she spent five years begging on the street in the city and was often mistaken for a member of a hill tribe because of her dark skin tone.

She was arrested in 1987 on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant and was sent to a social services hostel when authorities were unable to determine her origins.

However, last month, three students from her home village arrived at the hostel for training, and they were able to communicate with Beuraheng and help her find her way home.


No, this isn't a story from The Onion. It is an AP story posted by Drudge!

Solomon's Porch Video



I came across an eleven minute video about Solomon's Porch via Reformissionary. The video was originally posted at Tony Jones' blog. It is fascinating to hear about the church from the inside. I have a friend who goes to Solomon's Porch (and will hopefully comment on this post) and have heard about the church through him and other sources. So to actually see it was helpful.

I applaud the efforts of Solomon's Porch to build Christian community because evangelicalism is moving away from the intimacy of community churches to the alienation of mega-churches. Churches need to stress community, and Solomon's Porch has that at its core.

Steve McCoy asked commenter's to "do more than just react" and to "be generous." That is a helpful reminder--and one I hope I adhere to in my response.

The few things I have read, heard, and seen on the emerging/emergent church are exceedingly difficult to follow. So much of what they have to say is nearly incoherent to me. I am not at all versed in post-modernese. I don't have their vocabulary down. I simply cannot speak in broad language and brush around topics, and "converse" like they do. Maybe that is a shortcoming of mine in ministering to a post-modern culture, but in any case, I simply can't make much sense of what Doug Pagitt says in the video.

In the beginning of the video, Pagitt says that Christianity has become like a restaurant with value meals that you can't pick and choose from. He never clearly states what he means by the metaphor. So often critics of the emerging church put words into the mouths of the emerging leaders, and it is clear why this happens--they want to be able to interact with ideas, and without them, they will argue against what they believe leaders like Pagitt mean.

What does Solomon's Porch stand for as a church? If they don't have a statement of faith, what are they organized around? What is their mission and why? How ecumenical are they willing to be? These are the kinds of questions that are often asked without adequate answers.

One of my biggest concerns about church's like Solomon's Porch is the things they emphasize. Clearly and eleven minute video is not going to do a great justice to the church's vision, but I heard little about the good news of Christ in the video. The video, and perhaps the church by implication seems more concerned with differentiating themselves from other churches. Perhaps this is an unfair criticism, but were an eleven minute video made of my church, I would hope that the gospel would be a central theme.

I am concerned that those who attend Solomon's Porch and others like it bring their own ideology to their faith, rather than allowing their faith to inform their ideology. I am specifically concerned with the portion of the video where a young woman discusses the "What Would Jesus Do?" trend. She states that if Jesus were alive today he would be concerned with things like "racism, the environment, globalization, and feeding the masses." It is not that I disagree with her, as clearly those are all important issues, but this also sounds like Democratic talking points, or a Jim Wallis essay.

My last criticism is more of a quibble. The same young woman also talks about how community forces people to build relationships which expose "imperfections." Perhaps this is an emerging/emergent way to speak of sin. Perhaps more time and more thought would help her develop the idea more, but I would hope that sin is spoken of in harsher terms at Solomon's Porch rather than simply labeled as "imperfection."

The video really seems to raise more questions for me than it gives answers. That seems to me the entire ethos of the emerging church.

Players Blocked by An Inferior Player

Baseball Analysts have a short list of position players that are being blocked from playing regularly by an inferior player.

It is unfortunate how many managers are willing to give playing time to a seasoned veteran on the downside of his career rather than giving his younger, often more talented players the opportunity to prove themselves.

This is the kind of situation the Twins faced early last season when playing Juan Castro over Jason Bartlett. It is also the same situation they face this season by giving Ramon Ortiz a spot in the starting rotation over younger options like Glen Perkins, Scott Baker, Matt Garza, and J.D. Durbin.

Take a look at the projections of all five pitchers:

Ramon Ortiz
ZiPS 8-12, 5.25ERA, 163IP, 1.47WHIP

Matt Garza
ZiPS 13-10 3.88ERA, 160IP, 1.31WHIP

Scott Baker
ZiPS 10-10 4.45ERA, 170IP, 1.33WHIP

Glen Perkins
ZiPS 6-9 5.13ERA, 135IP, 1.49WHIP

J.D. Durbin
ZiPS 4-5 4.86ERA, 100IP, 1.56WHIP

Garza and Baker are clearly projected to do much better than Ortiz for considerably less money. They will also be given invaluable playing time which will mature them as pitchers and help them improve.

Perkins and Durbin are not projected to do much better, if at all, than Ortiz. But they are two good prospects, Perkins especially, that should be given a chance over a $3 million pitcher who will be lucky to post an ERA below 5.00.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How Well Do You Know Your Bible?

I was asked this question by another blog I visited, and I was curious about this myself. I have always believed I have a better grasp of theology than the Bible. That is rather backward and somewhat paradoxical, I know.

Having only scored 40%, it is easy for me to say that the test is rather difficult, though I challenge you to tell me who killed Eglon without looking it up. I for one challenge my Dad to see how well he can do!

You rank 40% on the biblical comprehension scale.

You obviously have a respectable level of biblical knowledge. However, you fall just a little short of the standard of this advanced biblical comprehension test. Perhaps a more focused Bible-reading plan would improve your biblical knowledge.

How Well Do You Know Your Bible?
Quizzes for MySpace

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Other Side of Mac vs. PC

The Guardian has an article exposing the Mac vs. PC commercials and states why the author "hates macs." The article expresses much of what I believe about Mac's, though clearly takes things to an extreme.

Of course, Mac's aren't quite the "glorified Fisher-Price activity centres" the author portrays, but he clearly has a strong point about the superiority of the Windows-based platform.

For the record, I like the Mac vs. PC ads. They are clever and funny, but severely distort reality.

HT: Denny Burk

Friday, February 02, 2007

Mr. Chirac, Just Try It

The New York Times reports that French President Jacque Chirac "has demanded that the United States sign both the Kyoto climate protocol and a future agreement that will take effect when the Kyoto accord runs out in 2012."

The article states that, "he warned that if the United States did not sign the agreements, a carbon tax across Europe on imports from nations that have not signed the Kyoto treaty could be imposed to try to force compliance. The European Union is the largest export market for American goods."

Were I in a position of authority, I would tell Mr. Chirac to try this. See what it would do. Europeans complain about the American hegemon, well what of Mr. Chirac in this instance? This kind of tax would represent an affront to global economicy policy.

We ought to defy this kind of heavy-handed tactic and never allow foreign nations have any sway over American policy. The Kyoto Protocol and treaties like it are little more than an effort for world socialists to undermine American economic interests and to cause a Luddite revolution. We ought to stand firm against any global powers that would seek to destroy our national autonomy.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Faith

Mark Horne has an intriguing post concerning the nature of faith and justification. I think Horne is right. Maybe I misunderstand the views of N.T. Wright, but this seems to be the implication of Wright's reading of Paul. Justification is of God, not our faith. Yes, the two are intricately related, but our justification is a result of God's grace--not a result of our faith. To put the emphasis on faith rather than grace is to exalt man and belittle our gracious God.