Archive for the ‘first amendment’ Category

Yup, here it is, Hitler at a zoo standing in front of an animal\'s cage.  Which animal?  I don\'t know.  But there you go, just for the three of you who searched for it.

There you go, a picture of Hitler at the zoo. Weird, huh?

We begin with the search term that was good enough to become the title of this post.  Seriously, I mention going to the zoo twice and all of a sudden I get THREE hits from people searching the term:

hitler going to the zoo

This of course made me curious.  Are there three people out there who are really interested in seeing Hitler take a brisk yet leisurely walk through a zoo somewhere in Germany?  How odd.

im a big guy and i want to make sex more

Sorry, I can’t help you with that.  However, I can help with your syntax and grammar.  Why not try this search term next time, “I am a full-bodied corpulent man interested in finding a woman with whom I might engage in various acts of fornication and obtain a high degree of carnal knowledge of her female form.”  Hey, at least it sounds more sophisticated and less..uh..cavemanish.

kinky christian in relationship

So, what exactly are you looking for? (more…)

After processing the news of Tony Snow’s passing I knew there was something I had to do.  I had to pay a visit to the Daily Kos and see what the folks over there thought of the passing of this genuinely good and kind man who left behind a wife and three children.  What I found what about as revolting as the time back in college when I accidentally took a swig from my roommates dip bottle- which was all to inconspicuously disguised as an ordinary Coke bottle and in very close proximity to my Coke bottle.

I will warn you that the comments are quite vulgar. I must also give props to those on the comment board who had the moral courage to condemn those spewing pointless vitriol- thank you all for standing up to a conmmon decency that knows no political bounds.

Why am I republishing these awful comments?  I think that republishing these comments on this blog can lead to a teachable moment, a moment I will capitalize on next week in a post under the intellectual transformation series.  [Note: All of the below quotes can be found at this thread on the Daily Kos]

“Tony knew that his boss was full of shit and that he was lying to the American people everyday.  He gets no kudos for being a lying sack of shit.  Yes its terrible for his young children, but it is also terrible for the young children of soldiers who keep getting killed because of the bullshit this lying sack of crap spewed everyday from his podeium.  rest in hell.” -Rogereaton

One can have little doubt that what the poster (and countless other folks after him) considered “lies” were more likely than not points of political difference- instances where Tony Snow or those he represented drew different conclusions from the same facts.  Yet, Mr. Eaton is more than happy to condemn Tony Snow to the darkest pits of hell because of their political disagreements.  I guess we are lucky this guy isn’t actually in charge of who gets what final destination.  Aside: For those of you looking for the proper application of the admonishments against judging others found in the New Testament, here you have a perfect example.

“I am a little baffled by the kind words for Mr. Snow on this blog today. Here was a man who could have used his talents to better the world, and he chose to do the complete opposite. I am not sure how he slept at night. My condolances (sic) to his family, but I can’t be sad that he’s gone.”- unionsally

While I am glad she expressed some concern over Tony Snow getting some rest- since we all know a good nights sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle- some might consider it a tres bit gauche to make sweeping moral claims about the dead.  Perhaps we can all find some way to at least stay quiet if we can’t say anything nice about those recently departed.

“You were my favorite of the Bush administration’s apologistic (sic) panderers.  You were a good spokesman for the side of evil and if not for your cancer, would have easily had a promising career in televangilism (sic) should you have chosen to pursue one.”- Juliewolf

The best that I can say is that perhaps this is an attempt at humor that took a disappointing turn.  Note how she connects Tony Snow with “the side of evil” and suggests a possible career in televangelism- since we all know televangelists are horrible people right?  All I want to know is whether Ms. Wolf was among those who decried President Bush when he called North Korea, Iran, and Iraq an “axis of evil.” (A statement I had problems with at the time, although no doubt for completely different reasons. Especially since I do believe that the North Korean governmental system is a clearly evil system.) (more…)

I think I will start a weekly post that links to several insightful articles. After all I read quite a few each day, and would like to share them with you. Not just because they are good articles, but because this blog is in many ways about personal disclosure- so I certainly won’t go out of my way to hide my political interests. [BTW: As of now I am considered an unaffiliated voter since the state of N.C. no longer recognizes the Libertarian party].

Criminal Charges for Flushing the Koran

This would be ridiculous if it weren’t true. In a nation where it isn’t illegal to burn the flag, where one can submerge a cross in urine (and get a federal grant), apparently you can’t put a Koran in the toilet. Making matters worse, noted statist Bill O’Reilly approved of the criminal charges.

I presume Bill is supporting these charges in an effort to appear even handed, since at heart he would probably like to be able to prosecute people who submerge crosses in urine or paint the Virgin Mary using dung. But I ask, what about the freedom to offend? This kind of thing gets my blood boiling. I would take my bar (if I had a spare $3,000 and three months to study non-stop) just to take this case to court.

Stanislav Shmulevich, you have my complete support. While your actions may have been at the least tacky, at the worst they were offensive. And causing offense is NEVER illegal, it is at the core of protected speech.

(more…)

There are a lot of parts of my daily routine that I have left out of my regular posts.  These are important aspects of my routine that should be shared, but for various and sundry reasons, don’t enter my postings.

First, Bible study.   The goal was 30 to 45 minutes of Bible study each morning.  I wish I could say I was consistently faithful to this goal, but truth is I have been no to be slack and forget this as I get caught up in various projects (whether it be running or writing).  As of today I have recommitted myself to this goal and increased it to an hour each day.  To up the ante, I am going to make a deal with myself.  If I miss my bible study then I must miss dinner- and I love dinner.

Second, stretching.   I try to stretch each morning.  Nothing complex, not formal yoga or anything similar, just simple stretches- legs, back, arms, chest, and neck.  I also stretch again before a run or workout.

Third, play.  Aside form occasionally stepping in dog poop, I enjoy going outside with my dogs and chasing them (often they are the ones chasing me).  We play quite rough, and Lucius can take a good slap to the snout.  I do need to spend more time training them formally.  But, I don’t want to give up the play time, it is really refreshing and fun.

Fourth, family.  Last, but not least, is spending time with my family.  I find that more often than not this is a great way to fresh and replenish a weary spirit and body.  Nothing like the joy in my daughter’s eyes when I set up her train set, or when we make Dora and Boots out of Play-doh.

What do you think when you watch this guy? Does his loud speech impress?

I was tagged several days ago by Lose-weight-with-me regarding what goals I had- regarding both this fitness program and life in general. So without further adieu, here is my list of goals, broken into four categories: short term (those which can be accomplished in less than 6 months), mid-range (those which can be achieved within 1 to 3 years), long term (those that will take 5 or more years to achieve), and underlying (those which should motivate me everyday).

Short Term Goals

1) Lose another 24 lbs (reach 160lbs). This is quite doable in six months. The math says that I only need to lose 1 pound per week.

2) Decrease waist size to 30 inches. This is achievable. When accomplished I will have half a dozen pants that fit me again- finally.

3) Run a 5k. Why not? I figure it will be a good motivation technique. While I dislike running, I love winning things. I want to place first- but we shall see. At this point I would be happy to complete the course.

4) Publication. Publish at least one of the articles I am currently working on.

5) Corporate Paperwork. I want to begin the necessary paperwork to incorporate the corp. my wife and I will use to purchase and run our future farm (more details later).

Mid-Range Goals

1) Publication. At least four articles published. I would love to see at least one each in the North Carolina Historical Review and the Journal of Southern History.

2) Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle. I want to stay within a range between 160 and 165 pounds; continue eating healthy and in moderately sized portions; drinking lots of water; and regularly exercising.

3) Save Money. I need to save up for the farm/charity my wife and I are planning. It will take a good amount of investment on our part- and deprivation from now until then- but it will be worth it.

Ideally the farm will act in several charitable capacities. A “kitchen” for the local poor (as we will give food items grown to local families in need [i.e. milk, eggs, fruit, etc.]). A no-kill animal shelter (dog, horse, sheep, etc.) that will also function as a program for at-risk kids- said children will work with the dogs to train them for new homes while hopefully gaining an appreciation for love and grace in their own lives.

4) Completion of my Ph.D. program.

Long Range Goals

1) Obtaining a U.S. History teaching position somewhere in North Carolina- Asheville and Wilmington preferred. University of North Carolina- at Asheville is my number one choice as far as I am concerned.

2) Organize and build the aforementioned farm (and an eco-friendly formworks home) wherever God sends me to teach- I am really hoping God chooses Asheville, NC.

3) Publish my first book. I am thinking something on slave patrols- but with an interesting twist that I will disclose later.

Underlying Goals

1) Witness to three people each week, invest time in them, invite them to three events (dinner, church, etc.), and pray for them three times a day.

2) Shun worldly desires and grow in Christ daily.

3) One hour bible study each day.

Since this is a slow day for workouts, how about some news stories from around the web.

Sharpton’s Collateral Damage

Future of Imus Charity Ranch Questioned, Deborah Baker (AP).

“Don Imus’s banishment from the public airwaves also deprives him of a critical platform to raise money for the sprawling Imus Ranch, where children with cancer and other illnesses get a taste of the cowboy life…

…Imus said he and his wife Deirdre are round-the-clock surrogate parents to the youngsters who spend a week at the property, nearly half of whom are from minority groups and 10 percent are black.”

[Someone who asked a similar question stirred up a lively debate over at “Yahoo! Answers” (See also this discussion on the same forum). For those of you unaware of Sharpton’s slash and burn (not to mention callous disregard for the truth) past see Larry Elder’s recent article. I’ll leave you to decide if Imus’s good works are of far greater worth than three words- “nappy headed hos.”

Aside: I despise this topic; however, I discuss it because the media has turned it into a major news event. I emphatically state for the record that I can’t stand Imus or his radio show.

For your perusal I have also linked to several comments on Imus’s firing.

Cowards Kick Another Piece of America’s Soul, Kinky Friedman.

“Wavy Gravy says he salutes mistakes. They’re what makes us human, he claims. And humanity beyond doubt, is what appears to be missing from this equation. If we’ve lost the ability to laugh at ourselves, to laugh at each other, to laugh together, then the PC world has succeeded in diminishing us all.”

Music Lyrics Take Spotlight During Imus Controversy, Goff and Alexander [Could also be called “The Giant Double Standard Elephant in the Room.”]

[When asked to defend a rap act where the N-word was used more than 100 times (I bet if the H word (ho) and the B word (b*tch) had been counted the tally would have been much higher) the student body president responded with the following statement- contained in the article linked above]

“Being they are a performing artist group they’re merely here to entertain us. That’s nothing serious in content, they’re here to entertain.” – Student Body President Deven Anderson.

[Imus Fired for Threatening to Reveal 9/11 Secrets?] American Radio Icon Don Imus Disgraced, Fired after Threat to Reveal 9/11 Secrets, Sorcha Faal.

“In a clear sign of its intent to reign in dissident American media personalities, and their growing influence in American culture, US War Leaders this past week launched an unprecedented attack upon one of their most politically ‘connected’, and legendary, radio hosts named Don Imus after his threats to release information relating to the September 11, 2001 attacks upon that country.”

[Is this kind of stuff supposed to be taken seriously?]

The Ten Commandments for Husbands, Doug Giles.

Thou shalt not hang out with horndogs. Hanging out with guys who hateth their wives, who loveth to indulge in the superfluity of naughtiness and who are out to convert the faithful to the Cult of Infidelity is muy goofy. Be not deceived: bad company will land thee in a strip club or an illicit affair which will causeth thou to meet with the chainsaw of Jehovah. Be afraid.”

[An excellent list of ten rules to live by that will keep us men out of most of the stupid and ridiculous situation we often find ourselves in. I also recommend my series (a new section is in the works) on living the deliberate life.]

(more…)

The Air Car

It looks like someone has finally done it- invented a car that runs well on a clean fuel source. This new invention runs on, get this, compressed air [hence the name Air Car]. It is also affordable AND achieves reasonable speeds.

“It costs less than $3 USD to fill a tank on which it can run for 200 to 300km [124 to 186 miles]. The car will cost about USD $7,300 and has a top speed of 68mph. About once every 50,000 km you have to change the oil (1 liter of vegetable oil). Initial plans are to produce 3,000 cars per year.” [1]

Barbaric Behavior in Iraq.

Over in Iraq terrorists used (and subsequently butchered) two children in order to explode a car bomb at a U.S. checkpoint. To realize how disgusting these scum are- praying on our western values of kindness and mercy- see the following:

“The vehicle was stopped at the checkpoint but was allowed through when soldiers saw the children in the back…

“Children in the back seat lowered suspicion. We let it move through. They parked the vehicle, and the adults ran out and detonated it with the children in the back,” Barbero said…

After going through the checkpoint, the vehicle parked next to a market across the street from a school, said the official, who asked not to be identified.

“And the two adults were seen to get out of the vehicle, and run from the vehicle, and then followed by the detonation of the vehicle,” the official said.

“It killed the two children inside as well as three other civilians in the vicinity. So, a total of five killed, seven injured,” the official said.”

How contemptible and barbaric. Notice these two adults run- presumably foregoing the glories Allah has allegedly promised them as suicide bombers- leaving the two young children to die.

“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6.

A Gay Old Time at Church?

It appears that Texas is home to the this Countries largest “gay church.”

“Hudson estimates that over 90 percent of the Cathedral’s 3,500 members are gay, lesbian or transgender.”

I have no problem with homosexual couples attending church- after all we don’t expel from church those who have sex before (or outside) of marriage, adulterers, and divorced believers. My problem stems from the fact that neither would we create a church for adulterers, unwed couples, etc. where we claim that such activity isn’t sinful and immoral. Yet, for some reason, our society has chosen to embrace this specific sin, and singled it out for unlimited acceptance.

The Church has taken one form of fornication and legitimized it- seemingly with the purpose of getting people in church who otherwise wouldn’t come. Is this a good policy? What other sinful behavior could we legitimize in order to make sinners more comfortable with the church and Jesus? I would answer that we have already done much to make divorced men and women and unwed couples feel as if their lifestyle (and choices) were acceptable (or at the least not condemned) by God.

Iranian President Declares War on Sparta (Satire)

“In what foreign policy experts believe to be a direct response to the hit American movie “300,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today declared war on Sparta. Even for the mercurial Ahmadinejad, the move struck many diplomatic insiders as extraordinary, since the consensus in the international community is that the city-state of Sparta no longer exists.” [2]

Brothers Gone Astray? Leading Pentecostals in Brazil Arrested in the U.S.

“Only a few months ago, Estevam and Sônia Hernandes were on television preaching a gospel of material success and living a life to match.

But that was before they were arrested in Miami in January and charged with illegally smuggling cash into the United States, including $9,000 concealed in a Bible.” [3]

It doesn’t take long to see from whence the problem originates- as their church preached a “theology of prosperity.” Prosperity churches have their eyes on money and material success more than God and Godliness. In addition, they make a mockery of the millions of Christians who suffer for Christ daily with not even a few coins in their pockets. God may bless you with wealth, but more often he blesses you with spiritual things so much greater than a big home and a nice car.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” Matthew 7:21-23.

Medved has the Left Pegged

While the right wants to reward beneficial choices and discourage destructive directions, the left seeks to eliminate or reduce the impact of the disadvantages that result from bad decisions. In place of the conservative emphasis on accountability, the left proffers a gospel of indiscriminate compassion.” [4]

Satire Lost on Leftists

But that soothing thought was short-lived because I made a crucial mistake: I read the student newspaper published by the University of Rhode Island. According to the newspaper, the University of Rhode Island Student Senate denied the appeal of the College Republicans who had been punished for running a controversial “White Heterosexual American Male” scholarship advertisement. The ad was obviously satire because the scholarship has never actually been granted to anyone. In other words, like a gay unicorn, it does not really exist.”

I encourage you to read the articles written by my former undergraduate professor, Mike Adams. They are always funny, pointed, and well reasoned. They also often shock the heck out of you. He is a former atheist liberal turned fundamentalist Christian Conservative. Check out his archived articles here.

The Religious Left Seeks Greater Welfare Spending:

The chief bishops of President Bush’s United Methodist denomination naturally were ready to pounce on his proposed $2.9 trillion budget for 2008, in which the “most vulnerable populations in the United States and around the world are sacrificed at the altars of greed and war.” [5]

Christian charity extracted at the point of government power is neither Christian nor Charity.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Hollow, a silhouette, symbolic, vain, and social. These are all words that could well describe our Christian faith in the West (and the U.S. specifically). I came across this story today on-line:

“Woodrow Kroll of Back to the Bible says a new survey shows biblical illiteracy is one of the biggest problems facing the Church in America. According to the Christian ministry president, research shows that the average American owns three copies of the Bible, but doesn’t read any of them.” [1]

Not convinced we have a problem on our hands? Read this:

“[T]wo-thirds of Americans believe that the Bible holds the answers to all or most of life’s basic questions. Yet, only half of the adults in this country can name one of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and most Americans do not know the first book in the Bible (Genesis).” [2]

Three bibles. Many can’t even name the four gospels or the first book of the Bible- unbelievable. While people all around the world thirst (and bear beatings, torture, and murder to receive God’s word) we have an abundance of Bibles and show little to no interest in reading them. Much less do we seem interested in living a biblical and Christ centered lifestyle.

Earlier I described our belief in this country as hollow, a silhouette, symbolic, vain, and social. And in this day it has become as much for many believers who not only sit in pews, but those who hold positions within the church. I am not qualified to judge people individually on this ground, that is something each of us must do introspectively and retrospectively guided by God’s word and thoughtful prayer.

That being said, I would like to present what might be the single most common reason why our beliefs have become hollow, symbolic, and vain in many instances.

Compromise– We are quick to avoid confrontation, like Peter following Christ (after his arrest) to the home of the High Priest. But instead of outright denying any knowledge of Christ (like Peter) we simply deny the biblical Christ in favor of a Christ more friendly to the world (and the true Bible in favor of a worldly scripture). There are many reasons for this compromise: avoiding confrontation, a lack of knowledge, seeking worldly acceptance, rationalization that a more PC Christ will draw more people to the Church, etc.

Whatever our reasons, all too often we compromise Christ or His word in order live an easier life- a life free from serious disputes with the world around us. I can tell you from experience that a life of uncompromising acceptance of the scriptures isn’t easy. It is downright hard. The world will call you foolish and stupid, many will hate you for what you believe. It won’t be an easy road.

“Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-20.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” Romans 1:20-22.

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:19.

Now I would ask you to look to your own life. Where have you compromised? Do you retreat in horror when the topic of evolution and creationism rears it head? Do you remain silent when the issue of homosexuality within the church is a part of the conversation? Do you quietly abide while others talk about the many paths that lead to God? Did you do any of these things because a thorough search of scripture convinced you they were correct, or did you do these things because you felt uncomfortable (or simply wanted the world to be more comfortable with you).

I can tell you that such a look into your own heart is profitable and beneficial to your walk. How do I know? I was a compromising Christian at one point in my life. My own problem wasn’t a lack of knowledge, but a fear of being ridiculed by my peers and mentors in the academic world.

“The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:25-26.

If Christ expects me to die for my beliefs, how can I be so weak as to compromise them just to gain acceptance? If believers around the world are willing to die for Christ, why can’t I simply endure the scorn of my peers?

After all this inward searching, I learned that Jesus was right when He said, “if you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.” I compromised Christ so much that the world accepted and loved me, and in the process I lost my love for Christ. The world was glad to accept me as long as I embraced it’s desires and repudiated those aspects of Christianity that it found offensive. But when I changed, when I embraced Christ fully, I found my reception was much different. Threats, slurs, and intimidation are but a few of the responses of this world those who won’t compromise their firm faith in Christ.

“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” Proverbs 10:25

“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matt. 10:22.

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matt. 24:12-13.

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58.

“[I]t is by faith you stand firm.” 2 Corinthians 1:24.

Love Christ because of what He has done, love Him for who he is, or love him because He first loved you. Whatever the reason, know why you believe what you believe. And be ready to respond to those who question your faith.

Here is a pretty basic concept. I give several sides of an issue and then you draw your own conclusions about who is right, who is wrong, and who is just just blowing smoke out there….well, you get the point.

First, Global Warming. This is a fun one since it is so contentious.

Global Warming: Fact, Fiction and Political Endgame. Mark Alexander.

Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says.

Union of Concerned Scientists.

An Inconvenient Truth.

Gore Says Media Miss Climate Message

A Convenient Lie. John Stossel.

MIT Scientist Calls Fears of Global Warming Silly. A MUST read article.

Feb. Temperatures 34th coolest in 114 years.

Second, Religion in the Public Square.

Why Liberals are Right to Hate the Ten Commandments. Michael Medved.

Challenging the [Christian] Right. Forward: The Jewish Daily

Evangelical.us

Religious Right in American Religion. About.com

Meet the Religious Right.

Debunking Myths about the Religious Right. Steven Waldman.

National Associate of Evangelicals.

Odd, Funny, and Sundry Links

UFO Science key to Halting Climate Change: Former Canadian Defense Minister.

“A former Canadian defense minister is demanding governments worldwide disclose and use secret alien technologies obtained in alleged UFO crashes to stem climate change, a local paper said Wednesday.”

Stone Towers Make up Oldest Observatory in Peru.

“The 2,300-year-old site points to a sophisticated culture that used the dramatic alignment of the sun and the structures for political and ceremonial effects, the researchers said.”

Oh George, What will we do When you are Gone? Gerard Baker

“Somewhere, deep down, tucked away underneath their loathing for George Bush, in a secret place where the lights of smart dinner-party conversation and clever debating-society repartee never shine, the growing hordes of America-bashers must dread the moment he leaves office.”