Showing posts from August, 2008


update: The website points to a computer company now. Bummer.

The company Green Living Systems sells yurts on trailers, called Roundabouts. The trailer base is used as an elevated base for the roundabout. The roundabouts are built with SIPs. It's not a camper but a small kit house. They also sell kit cabins and a "bath house" with a completed galley kitchen and small bath. Since I live in a small house now, I'm intrigued with other small houses. I really like the modular options of this house to grow as a family grows.

Political parties and Scripture

Food for thought from the Jewish prophet Jeremiah regarding political solutions to save our country .
7:5 For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor,
7:6 if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt,
7:7 then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.
7:8 "Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit.
7:9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know,
7:10 and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'?
7:11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it," says the Lord. (NKJV)I think all political p…

Obama wants to reduce unwanted pregnancies

Lat night as he closed the DNC in Denver Obama said, "We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country." As a pro-life person my response is if we de-legalize abortion, unwanted pregnancies will diminish. Before abortion was legalized, abstinence was more frequently practiced as well as contraception. Before abortion was legalized, there were not over 1 million babies a year killed in the womb either.

Barack Obama's acceptance speech briefly reviewed

Can anyone live up to so much hype? Even Obama can't. I didn't get a quiver up my leg even once. However, one line stood out and one line stunk up the place. Text
Stand out line
the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.
Stinker line
in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

but i'm not sure what verse he was referring to, it might be Hebrews 3:14,We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (NIV-other versions) but the hope in Scripture is hope in Christ, not hope in a politician. Perhaps he really does think he is the Messiah...

update: It's Hebrews 10:23, Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (NIV) Again, it's not about political uplift of a country, but, rather, salvation of our souls by our hope in Christ . Thanks to TMatt at GetReligion for the pointer.

the optimism of pro-life Democrats

M.Z. Hemingway in NRO notes the lack of reasons to be optimistic as a pro-life Democrat

Rev. Tony Campolo, an evangelical member of the platform committee, told Democrats for Life about other items he tried — and failed — to get included in the platform. The first was an issue he calls “parallel of choice.” If Democrats are going to fund Planned Parenthood, they should also fund pregnancy counseling centers, he said. That didn’t go over too well. He also pressed for the platform to mention that Democrats possess a diversity of viewpoints on the abortion issue. That also failed.

The final item he wanted included was a statement that abortion is a moral issue, not just a political one. No go.

Even with their meager victories, pro-life Democrats seem genuinely excited about the party’s new openness to them. Campolo pointed out that he didn’t sneak onto the platform committee — Howard Dean appointed him.

The pro-life elected officials and candidates at the forum were effusive in their praise …

a refresher on commenter etiquette

I removed a comment since the contentious commenter ignored the etiquette posted on the side which says, "I'm not anonymous, neither should you be if you want to comment here. It's fine if you don't want to register with blogger, just leave an email addy and your name."

In general, looking around someone's blog before posting is also wise. Perhaps I've already addressed a point you want to raise among the 1200 posts here.

God is good

another kit house

Thermobuilt uses 2x6's and thick styrofoam. Interesting.

brief summary of Hilary's speech last night

Since she didn't recant any of her accusations and insinuations against Obama at her speech last night in Denver I have boiled her speech down to one sentence for those who missed it.

Any Democrat in the White House will be better than any Republican (even if that Democrat is inexperienced, clueless, not ready, etc....)

How to get a political party to listen

In yesterday's quote from Donald Miller, he said, "I hope the Democrats will listen to those of us who lean toward pro-life..." If we vote for them, then they don't need to listen to us. They lost the last election and concluded they needed to reach out to evangelicals. If they lose again perhaps they will conclude that they should reconsider their support of abortion. If we want the Democrats to listen to pro-lifers then we shouldn't vote for them.

an example of poor reasoning - Donald Miller

The DNC is happy to have Donald Miller give the opening invocation after Cameron Strang declined. Christianity Today interviewed Miller about his reasoning. He complains that the Republicans have accomplished nothing for the pro-life movement hence it's not worth putting up with all their baggage. He says The issue of abortion is a very sensitive one and it’s an important issue. I look at from a perspective of, what’s the best that we can do. As we elect a Republican House and Senate, and as we elect Republican leadership in the executive branch, we see very little changes on that issue. We’re electing someone who agrees with us on abortion, being sort of a tragedy in our country, and yet can’t get anything done. It’s kind of like saying, I want a pilot on my plane who feels this way about abortion, but he can’t fly the plane. The executive branch doesn’t have that much power, it has some power, but it doesn’t have much power. You look at the reality of that and say, what can I do…

candidate charity


Another example of actions speaking louder than words can be found when we listen to Obama’s money talk. According to Obama’s tax returns from 2000-2006, the Obamas have given far less to charity than John McCain has. In all but the two most recent years reported, the Obamas gave around 1% or less of their income to charity. Their contributions increased in 2005 and 2006 to 4.7% and 6.1% respectively, but still are far short of those of McCain who gave 28.6% in 2006 and 27.3% in 2007. But if you listen to Obama’s words you will hear that he is very concerned about the least among us.

LOL cat and our ducks

The Smart Mom likes the LOLcats and takes her own humorous pictures of our animals, sends them to me with a caption idea, and lets me create them. Last year I posted our LOL dog, Honey. This time its our adopted stray Mr. Penguin visiting our new Indian Runner Ducklings.

cinema review: Batman - The Dark Knight

It's never good to be the last person to see a movie adored by millions of fans. The expectations are too high. Hence, The latest Batman installment, The Dark Knight, disappointed me. But I'm suffering from more than disappointment. I feel like I've been slimed, and I'm not sure why.

Perhaps, it is because I find the solution the movie offers to the problem of evil so superficial. Perhaps, it is because the movie attempts to present evil without turning away yet falls so short. My readings on atrocities, genocides, and human rights confirm my theology, that we all are evil and are capable of all evil. The movie shows people who are forced into moral dilemmas of killing others in order to save others or themselves. Perhaps this movie would be a great example of "morality porn." Pornography slimes its watchers. An uncomfortable residue remains on the watcher that clouds one's perceptions.

It's rated PG-13 for its violence and menace. It's not a child&…

If asked about something "above your pay grade"

Rick Warren asked Barack Obama, "When do babies get human rights?" Obama's voting record shows his belief is after birth unless the birth was induced for the purpose of abortion. Perhaps he is honest here and really doesn't know. In that case, if you don't know, why not play it safe and say "at conception," or "after the 1st trimester," or something that indicates you have listened to opinion of most people in America? If the issue is "morally difficult" why not join those who want it to not be an option? A topic is morally difficult becuase there is something morally wrong in the chioce.

"Above my pay grade" is a generous quote to give to his political opponents. I expect to hear this phrase ad nauseum until November.

blogging the Gulag Archipelago - "ideology"

"Pro-choice" is an ideology that warps any moral argument which comes it's way, which makes persuasive dialog between pro-life people and pro-choice people infuriating. I find Solzhenitsyn's thoughts on ideology in The Gulag Archipelago helpful. Ideology - that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors. That was how the agents of the Inquisition fortified their wills; by invoking Christianity; the conquerors of foreign lands, by extolling the grandeur of their Motherland; the colonizers, by civilization; the Nazis, by race; and the Jacobins (early and late), by equality, brotherhood, and the happiness of future generations.

Thanks to ideology, the twentieth century was fated to experience evildo…

The moral argument for abortion?

According to Slate columnist Linda Hirshman, there is a moral case for abortion and it needs to be made, but I couldn't find it in her article. The best I could find was an economic argument.

Her article begins with a celebration of a proposed update to the Democratic platform on abortion. The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Some of us read this as the Democratic Party supports an industry that executes children under the premise that one murder is better than two difficult lives. The nod to family value conservatives is a commitment, whatever that means, to more support for ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre and post natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs. I think if they are offering funding why not include an offer to make ado…

Solz on torture by sleep deprivation

It is depressing that the U.S. Government does not consider sleep deprivation of enemy combatants a form of torture. Perhaps they should read The Gulag Archipelago.
Sleeplessness was a great form of torture: it left no visible marks and could not provide grounds for complaint even if an inspection - something- unherad of anyway- were to strike on the morrow.

"They didn't let you sleep? Well, after all, this is not supposed to be a vacation resort. The Security officials were awake too!" (They would catch up on ther sleep during the day.) One can say that sleeplessness became the universal method in the Organs. From being one among many tortures, it became an integral part of the system of State Security; it was the cheapest possible method and did not requre the posting of sentries. In all the interrogation prisons the prisoners were forbidden to sleep even one minute from reveille till taps. (In Sukhanovka and several other prisons used specifically for interrogation, t…

A Theology of Death: Part 2

I think it is important to make plain the uncomfortable parts of the Bible. Hiding the awkward parts is the mark of a false religion. Mormons and Muslims come to mind. If God is real, he is fully responsible for how he has revealed himself. I think the Scriptures show that he has revealed his involvement in our creation and expiration. Some of us were created in violence. The means of the creation is an atrocity but the creation is still good. The child is not guilty of his father's sin. ikewise, death can feel atrocious. The Bible calls death an enemy, the ultimate enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26), but it is an enemy that will be defeated. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Death is the enemy even of someone who lived a long life full of love and happiness even when that death came in the victim's sleep. It's no less an enemy to the good old woman than it is for the victim of Alzheimer's disease. It's no less an enemy than it is for the father of three young chil…

A Theology of Death: Part 1

I believe God is involved in every step of a person’s life.

Proverbs 21 provides one jumping off point. 1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. (ESV) I consider the end of the chapter a complementary bookend. 31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord. (ESV) Consider how this plays out in the life of Christ. Augustus Caesar wants a census so Joseph and Mary have to travel to Bethlehem where Jesus is born in fulfillment of God’s word through the prophet Micah (5:2). When the Magi from the Orient show up and inquire in Herod’s court the location of the newborn king, Herod flips out, resulting in two more fulfilled prophecies. A massacre of the innocents in Bethlehem and an early childhood spent in Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-18).

Rubens portrayal.
I presume God knew what would happen when the Magi came to visit Herod's court. Perhaps the slaughter was small, 10-20 infants and toddlers, but g…

A Theology of Death: Introduction

Death and injustice are dominant themes in Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, which I have commenced reading in response to his passing this week. A friend told me he reads my blog when he wants to get depressed since I post so frequently on humanty’s inhumanity to itself. I don't consider myself a morose person but I do abhor determined blissful ignorance of injustice. This blog started partly in response to Terry Schiavo’s court supported starvation. I sincerely believe that human rights for the majority are only true if equal for the minority, the oppressed, the marginalized, and the weak. I believe in the sanctity of all lives, including those in need of external support, the disabled, the brain damaged, the en-wombed.

I recognize human rights, because as a follower of Jesus Christ, I consider all humans bearers of God’s image. I believe God is involved in the gestation of every human as well as their expiration.I've been ruminating for years on God's role on human expir…

cinema review: Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

There is a reason this film won 7 Academy Awards. The cinematography alone is phenomenal. Then the all-star cast is like Jordan's dream team that won a gold medal in basketball. The line-up was phenomenal. As the wiki entry notes, the movie made compromises for the sake of storytelling and mis-represented some of the history. Standing alone, though, Wow. The Smart Mom who hasn't blogged in a long time and I watched it over 3 nights. It's over 3 and a half hours long. For more information on T. E. Lawrence see the wiki.

Drowning the Hidatsa

The Hidatsa and Mandan tribes helped Lewis and Clark as they trekked west. Eventually, smallpox destroyed most of the tribes populations. They were allocated a reservation which was slowly stolen away. In 1948, they were forced out of their fertile river plain in order to make a dam. This site has a tragic photo of coucnil chairman of the tribes weeping as the secretary of the interior signs away his people's land. I ended up at this story because I like the earth lodges of the people. But many of these historic sites were flooded by this dam.