Oh When the Saints…

April 30, 2010

sing with incredible joy. A version of the song by Louis Armstrong and Danny Kay I didn’t know existed until yesterday.

For your Friday fun and edification:

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Green with Hypocrisy

April 29, 2010

It seems Al Gore, sage of all things green, global, and warm, has decided to put aside another piece of property for the purposes of saving the planet.

Well maybe not.

Gore has actually bought a $9 million dollar villa in Montecito, CA. The charming little fixer-upper has a mere five bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a fountain, spa, swimming pool, and six fireplaces. In other words, a property with a carbon footprint the size of Guam. This in addition to his 10,000 sq. ft. shack in Tennessee.

Now I don’t fault the man for owning fancy digs, and if someone has the money and they want to keep a contingent of gardeners and grounds keepers and contractors busy maintaining mansions, more power to them. Heaven knows the jobs are needed in Obama’s economy. And if Al is making this much off his global warming shtick, he certainly wouldn’t be the first to make money on investments in a scam. But can we stop pretending he is a serious individual representing real science? I mean quite obviously he doesn’t even believe this whole global warming thing himself, so can the rest of us just admit it was one of those pseudo-science created mass panic attacks our culture has frequently endured like global cooling, nuclear winters, and the Y2K bug?

Are we over it yet?


The Old Rugged Cross

April 28, 2010

With the Supreme Court evenly split between judicial liberals and conservatives (with Justice Kennedy falling somewhere in between), court watchers usually find something to be disappointed or delighted with in each new ruling, depending on their own political bent. Today’s ruling on Salazar v. Buono will leave most simply confused.

 A quick summary of the case is this – in 1934 the VFW erected a large cross on ‘Sunrise Rock’ near San Bernadino, CA. In 1994, the area was designated the Mojave National Preserve, making it a Federal land.

 In 2001, Frank Buono, a former National Park Service employee sued the Federal Government to have them remove the memorial based on it’s supposed violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. While that was pending in court, Congress designated the cross a national memorial. Seven months later the court ruled the cross could not be displayed on Federal lands. Three months after that Congress passed a provision that Federal funds couldn’t be used to dismantle the cross. Nearly a year later Congress moved to transfer the land to the Veterans Home of California to maintain the Cross memorial.

 The Ninth Circuit court of appeals affirmed the earlier court ruling, and then sought to bar the transfer of the land. The next appeal landed it on the Supreme Courts docket.

 Clear enough? It gets worse.

 In their decision today the court ruled the lower court had erred in barring the land transfer, and remanded the case back to the lower court for reconsideration based on the Higher Court’s stipulations. Of course, that was the opinion of two of the justices – a third concurring justice didn’t think the transfer should be held up at all. Two of the conservative justices didn’t think Buono had standing to bring the case to begin with, and the other four liberal dissenters said the lower court ruling should stand.

Which I think puts us back at square one – in the meantime the cross stands there in the desert, not harming anyone.


Observations

April 28, 2010

One problem with Democrats is that they want lax treatment of illegal immigrants and a welfare state. Both are bad ideas, but combined they are disastrous.


Perspective

April 28, 2010

A headline in our local paper this last weekend read, “Why God, Why?”  The story it highlighted was of a tragic accident where six young people were killed in a highway crash. As a parent of four, the question is one I can certainly understand, and hope I never have to ask.

 And yet, as the facts of the case have come out, it has become apparent that the crash was completely preventable had different choices been made. The car that seems to have instigated the crash reeked of alcohol. The 16 year old driver was driving after curfew, had more people in her car than the law allowed, and no one was wearing a seat belt. As the facts become known, the onus of responsibility shifts to those whose choices forever ended the lives of others.

 I think such an understanding is important for a believer as they view history, particularly that portion recorded in Scripture. As we read through the human tragedies chronicled therein, it is natural to ask, “Why?” Why the flood? Why the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Why the destruction of Jericho at the hands of the Israelites? The human tendency to focus on the tragedy rather than human choices overwhelms us.

 Of course an atheist looks at the historical record and says, “How horrible is God that that He would judge humanity so harshly; He doesn’t deserve our trust”.

 A believer understanding human nature looks at the same set of circumstances and says, “How horrible is sin that it causes such human tragedy; we should avoid it at all costs.”

 While there is room for questioning, the final evaluation depends completely on ones perspective on human responsibility and culpability for our actions. In this faith is not blind, but informed by a wise understanding of the world in which we live.


Bernanke Gets a Clue

April 27, 2010

In a Master of the Obvious moment, the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is now telling the President’s debt commission that we need to close our “unsustainable fiscal gap” and that, “The path forward contains many difficult tradeoffs and choices, but postponing those choices and failing to put the nation’s finances on a sustainable long-run trajectory would ultimately do great damage to our economy,”.

 You don’t say? Where was this guy when we were passing Obamacare that we now know will only increase our current deficit?

 Perhaps we could start by repealing that?

 Where was he when we were passing the stimulus bill that we now know did nothing but substantially increase our debt?

 Bernanke is of course right about how the current congress and administration are bankrupting our country, he is just a little late to make a significant difference.


Observations

April 26, 2010

Recently I saw an atheist claim that ‘spiritual beliefs do not equal religious beliefs’. This may be true, but for an atheist to say so is a bit like a vegetarian lecturing on the best way to prepare a steak.