"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer
Sunday, July 31, 2005
A Kenya-based economist begins to see the way out of Africa�s self-reinforcing tragedy: Economist Blames Aid for Africa Famine.
DAKAR, Senegal - In Niger, a desert country twice the size of Texas, most of the 11 million people live on a dollar a day. Forty percent of children are underfed, and one out of four dies before turning 5. And that�s when things are normal. Throw in a plague of locusts, and a familiar spectacle emerges: skeletal babies, distended bellies, people too famished to brush the flies from their faces.
To the aid workers charged with saving the dying, the immediate challenge is to raise relief money and get supplies to the stricken areas. They leave it to the economists and politicians to come up with a lasting remedy. One such economist is James Shikwati. He blames foreign aid.
When aid money keeps coming, all our policy-makers do is strategize on how to get more, said the Kenya-based director of the Inter Region Economic Network, an African think tank.
They forget about getting their own people working to solve these very basic problems. In Africa, we look to outsiders to solve our problems, making the victim not take responsibility to change.
JB here: If you don't understand the inherent greed and corruption of the human heart you'll always believe in the possibility of utopia. Wouldn't it be nice of 200 billion dollars American money actually provided food to the impoverished. But that NEVER HAPPENS. The rulers, dictators, kings, princes and politicians end up with the money; not the people. To give foreign aid is to simply further the corruption of the already corrupt. The poor NEVER benefit from the largesse.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Click on his website HERE and you'll hear a song from his latest album. It's alright. JB
VERSE 1. Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead).
St. Paul wrote this epistle because, after his departure from the Galatian churches, Jewish-Christian fanatics moved in, who perverted Paul's Gospel of man's free justification by faith in Christ Jesus.
The world bears the Gospel a grudge because the Gospel condemns the religious wisdom of the world. Jealous for its own religious views, the world in turn charges the Gospel with being a subversive and licentious doctrine, offensive to God and man, a doctrine to be persecuted as the worst plague on earth.
As a result we have this paradoxical situation: The Gospel supplies the world with the salvation of Jesus Christ, peace of conscience, and every blessing. Just for that the world abhors the Gospel
JB here: Of course to many, it's not just the world that abhors the Gospel, but there are many who would be self-described Christians who also abhor this same Gospel. They would not mind burning Martin Luther at the stake either. That's what blows my mind.
Here's somebody else's thoughts on my lack of blogging fame. I claim to be casting priceless pearls before the reading swine; other family members suggest I'm confusing dung and pearls. Hmm. Luckily for me my thick wall of narcicism keeps me from actually examining the facts of my fame. JB
Read on Adrian Warnock's blog who references the Evangelical Outpost blog who references the original blog, Catez. And then I reference them.
Blogging without authority and the "anti-success" bias
Evangelical Outpost [says Adrian]pointed me to a great post by Catez who says:
"The Romans built the 1st century equivalent of a highway system throughout the Empire. It meant people could travel faster from one place to another, and therefore news, information and opinion travelled faster too. The Roman roads made it possible to travel to places that a person might previously never travel to. It became not only a faster track for merchants but an information highway and a means of cross-cultural encounters and communication. That was what I was thinking when I started my blog.......
Despite my initial floundering I enjoyed the blog - there were no walls. The highways were there and it was interesting finding the different roads. Now here's what I want to get to - no-one much read my blog for months. I didn't mind. I thought it was fun to gather together links to other bloggers and did it because I liked their blogs and wanted to share the links with others. Trust me, I was nobody. No-one emailed asking me to link them. No-one called me prominent or influential or anything like that. The joy of the lone traveller out on the highway who stops here and there to talk to small groups of other travellers - that was me.
Here's my unconfessed secret - I'm still the same. And the wall I want to push back today is the popularity myth. Recently I've seen posts in which the conclusions drawn are that if more than a certain number of people read a blog, or a blog appears in a certain position on a list of blogs, then this is a popular blog and this is not good. I've even seen comments saying that these popular bloggers are like Pharisees because they are prominent and therefore are not humble. Well it's pointless to set about trying to prove one's humility - proving one's humilty is a contradiction in terms. So let me push back that wall first. Guess what? I'm not humble enough. I'm not loving enough either. I'll go the whole hog - I'm woefully imperfect......"
JB: I confess I wish I was getting 500 reads a day on my blog. That would be nice. Of course as certain family members point out; I'm not actually writing new material, I'm posting new material from other sources. In defense, I could never provide all the insights, great writing, word-smithing and thoughts of the people who's works I post.
I post them because I think they have something to say of great interest. The fact that I post them indicates my belief that they should be read.
Within the first couple of months of starting my blog I put a counter in. But the count was so low I took it out. I couldn't bear to see the count, I was embarrassed to let anybody else see the count either. Maybe, one day, I'll put it back in.
But for now I cheerfully blog in my own -- point to the sources -- way.
" Heigh Ho and Away!" says the LONE Blog RANGER
Friday, July 29, 2005
The Sexual Revolution -- What Really Happened?
( Writes Mohler) "Author Theodore Dalrymple, a British doctor serving in an inner-city hospital, writes of the cultural revolutions of the last decades of the twentieth century in Our Culture, What's Left of It [Ivan R. Dee, 2005]. Addressing the sexual revolution, Dalrymple offers insights worthy of careful attention:"
Revolutions are seldom spontaneous mass upheaval of the downtrodden, provoked beyond endurance by their miserable condition, and the sexual revolution was certainly no exception in this respect. The revolution had its intellectual progenitors, as shallow, personally twisted, and dishonest a parade of people as one could ever wish to encounter.
They were all utopians, lacking understanding of the realities of human nature; they all thought that sexual relations could be brought to the pitch of perfection either by diversing them of moral judgment that traditionally attached to them; all believed that human unhappiness was solely the product of laws, customs, and taboos. They were not the kind of people to take seriously Edmund Burke's lapidary warning that "it is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free": on the contrary, just as appetites often grow with the feeding, so the demands of the revolutionaries escalated whenever the last demand was met. When the expected happiness failed to emerge, the analysis of the problem and the proposed solution were always the same: more license, less self-control. By 1994, John Money, perhaps the most influential academic sexologist of the last third of the twentieth century, was still able to write in all seriousness that we live in an anti-sexual and taboo-ridden society. Get rid of the remaining taboos, he implied, and human unhappiness will take care of itself.
Another rhetorical technique the sexual revolutionaries favor (apart from the appeal to a fantasy of limitless eroticism) has been to try to dissolve sexual boundaries. They preached that all sexual behavior is, by nature, a continuum. And they thought if they could show that sex had no natural boundaries, all legal prohibition or social restraint of it would at once be seen as arbitrary and artificial and therefore morally untenable: for only differences in nature could be legitimately recognized by legal and social taboos.
Dalrymple's central point is clear -- the prophets of the sexual revolution promised a utopia of unrepressed sexuality that would produce true human happiness. Where are they now? What they produced was not a utopia, but a dystopia of sexual anarchy.
JB: Sexual Freedom, Unlimited Power, Unlimited wealth! If I have all of that, won't I be happy and content? Short Answer: NO
Profound modern day example: Ozzie Osbourne - among many, many others
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Progress in Britain
The arrest of one of the failed London bombers apparently has been a breakthrough, as nine more people were arrested earlier today, all in south London. It was also revealed that police found twelve unexploded bombs, some packed with nails, and four detonators in a car belonging to one of the terrorists who died in the July 7 attack. powerlineblog.com
THE OVULAR OFFICE [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's the problem with the emotional intelligence thing Warren, though I agree with you and John fully. To the extent that the Democratic Party has become the "Mommy Party" it'salready all about "emotional intelligence" and all that junk. The idea that a female liberal president would be more "feminine" than Bill Clinton is absurd, laughable, factually untrue. Bill Clinton was weepy, huggy and at all times pain-feeling. He'd wax eloquent on the glories of talk and empathy. At the end of one marathon meeting which accomplished nothing, he stretched out in his chair and said "That was great" as if he was about to light a cigarette. Feminists declared him the first female president. He talked of security not in the sense of blowing up terrorists but of leaving no children behind. Lip-biting, soul-searching, Caf� Vienna moments, let-me-say-this-about-that-Oprah femininity was the order of the day under Bill Clinton. And, sad to say, it was so successful that George W. Bush and Karl Rove copied it with their treacly "compassionate conservatism." It took 9/11 to remind George W. Bush why Republicans are called the Daddy Party.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
During my time with the National Organization for Women one of the (many) things that disturbed me during national board meetings was the fact that many of the women seemed to be allergic to bathing, and especially frightened of the concept of grooming.
The simplest things reveal you are in a room full of unhappy people; many were significantly overweight, and by grooming I mean engaging in the simple act of running a brush though your hair, brushing one's teeth, visiting a dentist if need be (at least on occasion), and simply caring enough about yourself to at least attempt to appear healthy.
When I would dare to bring up the issue of appearance (as gently as one could imagine), that notion, of course, was rejected as surrendering to the male dominated view of female beauty. Hey, how about surrendering to not being repulsive? That helps every cause, whatever it may be.
Yesterday, the New York Times published an editorial on subway safety. They reluctantly endorsed searches of passengers, but with a few caveats. The main one is that the police must, at all costs, make certain no single group is singled out for special attention. The selection process for searches must be perfectly random, such as every 5th or 12th person, carefully balanced to be applied evenly to all races and sexes.
That is a good theory, but it has a weakness: the terrorists have, so far, not been evenly distributed among the races and sexes. So far two have been men of Jamaican ancestry (Richard Reid, the would-be "shoe bomber" and one of the London bombers), one accused terrorist has been Hispanic (Jose Padilla), and nearly all the rest have been Arabic men. So a random search really won't work too well.
So, how do we resolve this problem? More importantly, how do we resolve it in a way that both improves public safety and will meet with the New York Times' approval?
It's simplicity itself. We need to sue the terrorists.
The United States has very stringent anti-discrimination laws, especially in the area of employment. Any group whose membership is that racially skewed is almost certainly practicing racial and sexual discrimination. We need to haul the terrorists into court and place them under a consent decree to increase their diversity and open themselves to all would-be terrorists, regardless of age, sex, race, creed, or color. ...................
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
It is a remarkable prayer! Perhaps ALL preachers should pray it on a regular basis.
Maybe even people like myself; not a preacher yet spending my life engaged with the populace. JB
A. W. Tozer was one of the great Christian writers of the last century -- a man whose pen was both eloquent and courageous. Here is an excerpt from his prayer as a preacher seeking God's power and glory:
Lord Jesus, I come to Thee for spiritual preparation. Lay Thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament prophet. Forbid that I should be come a religious scribe and thus lose my prophetic calling. Save me from the curse that lies dark across the modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism. Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering. Help me to remember that I am a prophet - not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
I accept hard work and small rewards in this life. I ask for no easy place. I shall try to be blind to the little ways that could make life easier. If others seek the smoother path I shall try to take the hard way without judging them too harshly. I shall expect opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes. Or if, as sometimes it falleth out to Thy servants, I should have grateful gifts pressed upon me by Thy kindly people, stand by me then and save me from the blight that often follows. Teach me to use whatever I receive in such manner that will not injure my soul nor diminish my spiritual power. And if in Thy permissive providence honor should come to me from Thy church, let me not forget in that hour that I am unworthy of the least of Thy mercies, and that if men knew me as intimately as I know myself they would withhold their honors or bestow them upon others more worthy to receive them.
And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.
Though I am chosen of Thee and honored by a high and holy calling, let me never forget that I am but a man of dust and ashes, a man with all the natural faults and passions that plague the race of men. I pray Thee, therefore, my Lord and Redeemer, save me from myself and from all the injuries I may do myself while trying to be a blessing to others. Fill me with Thy power by the Holy Spirit, and I will go in Thy strength and tell of Thy righteousness, even Thine only. I will spread abroad the message of redeeming love while my normal powers endure.
Monday, July 25, 2005
( The words speak for themselves. JB)
Here is what Churchill said, in its entirety about the horrific battle to wrest the Sudan from the jihadists of the 19th century:
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities - but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
Sir Winston Churchill, from The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899).
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Congrats to Lance and Team Discovery as he notched his 7th straight (and final) Tour De France victory. Before Lance's 7 in a row; the longest win streak was 5 in a row.
Tidbit: Lance is now the oldest competitor to ever win the Tour at the ripe old age of 33. (Just found out this is incorrect. Previous to WW II a 35 year old won the Tour.)
Thank You's to U.S. Postal for actually making the dominance of Lance's teams possible. To have a winning team requires money; a lot of it. While there can be serious debate whether or not the U.S. Post Office should put money into sponsoring a team in the Tour De France; they did and the results were spectacular.
Thank you Discovery Channel for picking up where U.S. Postal left off and for exhibiting a willingness to support the American Team for some years to come. We'd love to see a native son standing number one on the platform next year. I'm not sure it will happen but you never know.
Thank You George Hincapie. You poured yourself out over the last 7 years to enable Lance to win. This year you showed us what a great rider you are in your own right. You won THE TOUGHEST STAGE all on your own. May yours be a fabled name in Biking History in the years to come.
To Kris Armstrong: Kudos. We don't know the details of the marriage/divorce but we know the 3 children you had with Lance were in Paris today for their father's victory. That was important for them though the taste of Lance's victory may have been bitter for you. I assume some graciousness and generosity on your part for the children to be present. They are very young, you are their Mom and you were probably nearby.
I'll take class and grace over country-singer stardom any day! You may well have exhibited class and grace.
To OLN TV! You guys put yourself on the TV cable map with your willingness to cover from start to finish the magnificence that is the Tour De France. May you prosper and be quite financially profitable with the Tour coverage.
To the country of France! Can I blow you a big RASBERRY? Ah, how you've hated Lance and his American teams. French pride has been deeply ( but deservedly) wounded. It couldn't happen to a nicer country as far as I'm concerned. It's not JUST that you didn't recognize and support the U.S.A. as we began the battle against Islamic Terrorism. You actually attempted to use your influence to keep other country's from supporting us.
Jonah Goldberg said it so well when referring to your country; "Cheese eating surrender monkeys from Hell."
May France NEVER win another of their own race.
Jan Ullrich! You're an extraordinary rider. If there wouldn't have been Lance you might have won 5 or 6 yourself. Did you complain? NO. Were you always a man about your losses?
YES! Best to you next year Jan!
Finally, to the injured who had to drop out of the race. Our own David Zabriskie who threatened to give Lance the competition of his life but was felled by an accident. To Josef Beloki who took a terrible fall 2 years ago while in second place; your courage in coming back and being competitive until the aftermath of your injuries forced you to quit. And then the young rider (unluckily I can't remember his name) who beat Lance up the first of the mountain climbs but then had to drop out due to tendonitis. You scared us to death. It looked like you had what it takes to beat Lance. But the "Tour gods" were against you.
Manual "Triki" Beltran - Lance's teammate. Your fall was bad enough that when you got up off the asphalt you didn't even know what direction to take. But you grabbed your bike; hopped on and pedaled down the road 'til the doctors, realizing you suffered a concussion, forced you to abandon the race. You'll be back Triki!
All you soldiers; you were amazing.
To Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis, Bobby Julick and Chris Horner. You're ours. May one of you win the Tour next year. JB
Mark Steyn: Mugged by reality?
July 25, 2005
WITH hindsight, the defining encounter of the age was not between Mohammed Atta's jet and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, but that between Mohammed Atta and Johnelle Bryant a year earlier. Bryant is an official with the US Department of Agriculture in Florida, and the late Atta had gone to see her about getting a $US650,000 government loan to convert a plane into the world's largest crop-duster. A novel idea.
The meeting got off to a rocky start when Atta refused to deal with Bryant because she was but a woman. But, after this unpleasantness had been smoothed out, things went swimmingly. When it was explained to him that, alas, he wouldn't get the 650 grand in cash that day, Atta threatened to cut Bryant's throat. He then pointed to a picture behind her desk showing an aerial view of downtown Washington - the White House, the Pentagon et al - and asked: "How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it?"
Fortunately, Bryant's been on the training course and knows an opportunity for multicultural outreach when she sees one. "I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from," she recalled. "I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could."
So a few weeks later, when fellow 9/11 terrorist Marwan al-Shehhi arrived to request another half-million dollar farm subsidy and Atta showed up cunningly disguised with a pair of glasses and claiming to be another person entirely - to whit, al-Shehhi's accountant - Bryant sportingly pretended not to recognise him and went along with the wheeze. The fake specs, like the threat to slit her throat and blow up the Pentagon, were just another example of the multicultural diversity that so enriches our society.
For four years, much of the western world behaved like Bryant. Bomb us, and we agonise over the "root causes" (that is, what we did wrong). Decapitate us, and our politicians rush to the nearest mosque to declare that "Islam is a religion of peace". Issue bloodcurdling calls at Friday prayers to kill all the Jews and infidels, and we fret that it may cause a backlash against Muslims. Behead sodomites and mutilate female genitalia, and gay groups and feminist groups can't wait to march alongside you denouncing Bush, Blair and Howard. Murder a schoolful of children, and our scholars explain that to the "vast majority" of Muslims "jihad" is a harmless concept meaning "decaf latte with skimmed milk and cinnamon sprinkles".............
Captain Ed points to a troubling story
Sometimes And Whenever
Fox News reports this morning on a trend in weddings that not only demonstrates the slide away from commitment in our culture, but the erosion of confidence in what used to provide the apex of optimism in the confluence of private and community living. Instead of vowing to remain together "until death do us part," nuptials now include such tenuous promises as "until our time together is over":
Vows like "For as long as we continue to love each other," "For as long as our love shall last" and "Until our time together is over" are increasingly replacing the traditional to-the-grave vow; a switch that some call realistic and others call a recipe for failure.
"We're hearing that a lot; 'as long as our love shall last.' I personally think it's quite a statement on today's times; people know the odds of divorce," said New Jersey wedding expert Sharon Naylor, author of "Your Special Wedding Vows," who adds that the rephrasing is also part of a more general trend toward personalizing vows.
It's not that marriage isn't hard; it is. It's not that marriage can be perfect; it can't. It is that a vow before God and man should mean something. And this vow, not a contract, has the power to overcome differences and adversity and bring great blessings in the course of a lifetime. Making and keeping vows; the proof of wisdom and maturity. JB
Saturday, July 23, 2005
I consider it wise to always keep your future tombstone in view. The message on your tombstone will last a whole lot longer than who you were, what you did and how much money you made.
Not Much of a Rabbi
Not Much of a
Currently Chatting w/ Jesus
Windows Vista Defined (Found on J-walkblog.com)
Veggiedude at The Vegblog, figured out why Microsoft chose Vista as the name for the next version of Windows:
The word came yesterday that there had been a couple of bombings in a resort in Egypt. First a couple of bombs, then maybe 4 or 5; now maybe more.
Then the deaths: Everytime I check Yahoo to read the headline the number of deaths grow. First number seemed to be about 25. The most recent number 83 (now adjusted to 88). Sadly it will probably go up.
The Genie is out of the box. The carnage will continue -- perhaps worsen.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Adrian Warnock, a British Christian psychiatrist has asked his readers to list their favorite preacher and then link to his blog.
My favorite preacher remains John McArthur of Grace Community Church is Southern California. The first time I heard him was at a high school banquet for graduates from my church. This was probably circa 1965. He was enjoyable and insightful then; nothing has changed.
I was privileged to hear him in person last year; he was visiting in Florida and spoke at a local church. A) He was great. B) He's not so young anymore.
May the Lord continue to use and bless John McArthur; a truly gifted expositor of ancient Scriptures. JB
So I'm trying to talk to this not so old but quite confused lady out in the smoking area. A male companion looks at my shoes and says:
"I had a pair just like that but somebody stole 1 of them. Now why in the world would they steal only 1 shoe?"
He goes on to say: "Obviously I'm looking for a 1 legged man. Otherwise he would have stolen both shoes."
I had to have a big grin at that comment.
a) In case you didn't know, there are a LOT of 1 legged people in nursing homes. DIABETES is the cause and the curse. Sooner or later a toe has to be taken off; then maybe a foot. Later on the leg is removed. There is a lot of that.
b) Theft and confusion: A lot of stuff goes missing from patient's rooms. Unluckily it's quite hard to assess the cause. Patient's memories are generally pretty faulty. So they lose things, or misplace them or give them away. Who knows for sure. Unluckily theft by the nursing aides is a MAJOR problem. Most things of value are taken sooner or later. Family members quickly learn to NOT buy nice clothes for the person in the nursing home. Also, never give them more than 5 or 10 dollars. It too will disappear - quickly.
If you like material things; don't end up in a nursing home. JB
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Below are some of their best interchanges: (thanks to Joe Carter of the evangelicaloutpost.com)
"I wanted to talk to you about Dr. Whatley. I have a suspicion that he's converted to Judaism purely for the jokes."
"And this offends you as a Jewish person?"
"No, it offends me as a comedian."
- Jerry and Father Curtis, in "The Yada Yada"
"You are still afraid? You are not a man."
"Well, then what are all those ties and sports jackets doing in my closet?"
- Gina and Jerry, in "The Suicide"
"I still can't believe you're going out on a blind date."
"I'm not worried. It sounds like he's really good looking."
"You're going by sound? What are we, whales?"
- Jerry and Elaine, in "The Wink"
"Wait. Those are the clothes from the bag!"
"The guy never came back."
"He asked you to watch them, not wear them."
"I'm still watching them."
- Jerry and George, in "The Muffin Tops"
"What if something happens?"
"What could happen?"
"What if it felt good?"
"It's supposed to feel good."
"I don't want it to feel good."
"Then why get the massage?"
- George, discussing a massage given by a male masseuse, with Elaine, in "The Note"
"No doctors for me. A bunch of lackeys and yes-men all towing the company line. Plus, they botched my vasectomy."
"They botched it?"
"I'm even more potent now!"
- Kramer and Jerry, in "The Andrea Doria"
"So, what you are saying is that ninety to ninety-five percent of the population is undateable?"
"Then how are all these people getting together?"
- Elaine and Jerry, in "The Wink"
"What is it about sex that just disrupts everything? Is it the touching? Is it the nudity?"
"It can't be the nudity. I never got into these terrible fights and misunderstandings when I was changing before gym class."
- George and Jerry, in "The Deal"
"All bald people look good in hats."
"You should have lived in the twenties and thirties, you know men wore hats all the time then."
"What a bald paradise that must have been. Nobody knew."
- George and Elaine, in "The Parking Spot"
"Well, behind every joke there's some truth."
"What about that Bavarian cream pie joke I told you? There's no truth to that. Nobody with a terminal illness goes from the United States to Europe for a piece of Bavarian cream pie and then when they get there and they don't have it he says, 'Ah, I'll just have some coffee.' There's no truth to that."
- Sheila and Jerry, in "The Soup Nazi"
"God would never let me be successful. He'd kill me first. He'll never let me be happy."
"I thought you didn't believe in God?"
"I do for the bad things."
- George and his therapist, in "The Pilot"
"I've been lying about my income for a few years. I figured I could afford a fake house in the Hamptons."
- George, in "The Wizard"
"What are you saying?"
"I'm not saying anything."
"You're saying something."
"What could I be saying?"
"Well, you're not saying nothing. You must be saying something."
"If I was saying something, I would've said it."
"Why don't you say it?"
"I said it."
"What'd you say?"
- Jerry and Elaine, in "The Red Dot"
"It's a write-off for them."
"How is it a write-off?"
"They just write it off."
"Write it off what?"
"Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything."
"You don't even know what a write-off is."
"No, I don't."
"But they do. And they're the ones writing it off."
"I wish I had the last twenty seconds of my life back."
- Kramer and Jerry, in "The Package"
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
JOHN ROBERTS has been nominated by President Bush to fill the vacancy left by retiring Sandra Day O'Connor. Apparently Justice Robert has excellent conservative credentials.
But people who follow after Jesus Christ must remember: the answer to the problems in these United States does NOT lie within the makeup of the Supreme Court. Is it good to have a court that more closely adheres to the structure given us in the Constitution? I think so but we're light years past the original intent in so many ways and there is no putting the "genie" back in the bottle.
So if John Roberts gets confirmed; be mildly pleased. But be realistic. The downward spiral of our society into chaos will at best be slowed; it will not be stopped. God alone can save us from ourselves. The Supreme Court should never be confused with God. JB
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
What is Left to Say
Posted by Jared @ 7:00 am - permalink
My head is spinning with new thoughts and new ideas and new revelations, because I've been set free for more than a week to actually sit down and talk substantively with brothers in Christ. I don't get that where I live. It is an exhilarating feeling and yet an exhausting feeling to be immersed in real community for a brief period of time -- like getting dunked in freezing water, which can be both thrill and knock the wind out of your lungs.
Here are some thoughts and convictions I have. Most of them have been inspired by conversations I've had with several different men over the last month or so.
1. The churches are broken.
There are lots of reasons for this, and they're not all broken in the same way, but the things the churches are currently doing aren't helping and most of the things the churches are doing to fix themselves don't work.
2. Churchgoers are broken.
And not in the same way all people have been "broken" since the Fall. We're broken in a different way today, and we can't program our way out of this brokenness.
Most of us don't even realize we're broken. We may merely feel restless or empty or unfulfilled, but some of us realize we are (and our church is) broken.
3. I have no idea whether the broken people are making the broken churches or if the broken churches are making broken people.
I tend to think it is a both/and situation. One of those vicious cycles.
4. There is currently no significant place for artistry in the marketplace of Christian literature.
Editors and publishers are talking a good game, but it's just been talk.
I don't know how to fix it, and I'm not sure it can be fixed. Publishers won't publish quality Christian literature because Christian consumers won't buy it, and Christian consumers can't buy it until Christian publishers start publishing it. Another cycle.
Because it's a cycle, I don't see an end in sight.
This does not comfort me as a Christian writer who really doesn't care about being rich and famous, but would like to at least be able to support his family with the few talents God has given him without violating his conscience by purposefully writing drivel because that's all publishers and consumers want.
5. There is a weight to things unsaid.
I'm not just talking about confessing sin. That can be freeing, too, for both confessor and the person being confessed to.
But there are certain things that need to be said and because of what they are and because they've gone so long without being said, they develop a huge weight upon everyone. And when someone finally says it, the burden lifts.
I could give you examples, but I think most of you know what I'm getting at.
There are things that need to be said, and maybe it will take you to say them to whoever they need to be said to. You can't imagine how free this may make you and them. There may be "cleanup" involved, but sometimes just saying the thing can be a HUGE release and relief.
6. Christian husbands and fathers need to get some nads and be the spiritual leaders in their homes.
7. Christian wives and mothers need to stop trying to fill that role.
It will be difficult.
But part of the reason why he's not filling it is because you have usurped it.
8. Back to us men: Part of the reason why she's usurped it is because you dropped the ball.
9. There are a lot of hurting people out there.
I mean, a lot.
10. People even in the most crowded of cities are feeling helpless and lonely. There not alone, but they are desperately lonely. Crisis-mode lonely.
We are thirsting for community.
11. Men need other men to touch them.
More than just a handshake.
A good hug-it-up greeting or just a friendly hand to the shoulder or back can work a divine miracle of comfort for some men.
Trust me on this.
12. It will help if those of you on the receiving end of such touching, even if you didn't really need it, will not jokingly accuse the toucher of being gay or something.
That doesn't help the situation, dude.
13. There are few things better than "doing discipleship" with friends.
14. The body you have right now, even if it is wounded or old or ill or frail or fat or hairy, is still a miracle.
Just as the resurrection of Jesus is the firstfruit of the bodily resurrection those of who have died and will die in Christ await, the bodies we have right now are the firstfruits of our resurrection bodies.
"Spiritual body" in the Bible doesn't mean an intangible body. Our bodies are imperfect and they are winding down, but there's nothing wrong with them.
15. Here's a question one of Blo's friends asked me that I couldn't answer last week.
Q: Would God put a desire in your heart that He has no intention of fulfilling?
A: (then) I don't know. I think one can have a desire that is godly that is nonetheless not put there by God, and so it is not as though God has promised something and then lied about it.
A: (now) No. God will not put a desire in your heart he won't fulfill, but the fulfillment may not be what you expect. The question is flawed because it presupposes we know how God will fulfill the desire.
16. A lot of the desires -- longings, dreams, feelings, loves, values, etc. -- we have now will be really fulfilled in the new earth after the Lord's return.
I'm of the mind now that there actually very few things that actually constitute "fleshly" desires. We just tend to think of them as such because they are "earthy" things and our default position is that earthy, because it is not heavenly, is bad.
17. You are not alone.
How I know this:
I did a post on this site a few weeks back that was basically just a Scripture passage and a quote from somebody. I titled it "For You." At least three people contacted me to thank me for posting that "just for them."
So that's how I know.
You may be literally alone where you are. And obviously your particular problem, situation, or crisis is specific to you and affects you directly.
But, seriously -- you're not alone.
How I know this, Part 2:
I've been talking with about five or six guys in the last month, all in different "problem situations," but each of them has in some way communicated they feel alone. I have communicated the same thing to them about myself, about my own situation.
We are all saying we are alone, but "we" is plural so obviously we are not.
18. We've got to find some way to get all of these Alone People together. ;-)
19. We still trust our works to earn favor with God.
We believe intellectually that we are saved entirely by God's grace and not as a result of our works. But we live like we don't really believe that.
When the trust in your works breaks down:
1. Don't panic. It's a natural feeling, and it's actually a good sign that you are growing. Honestly.
2. Remind yourself then to trust in what Jesus did for you. That was the one and only work that really works.
20. When you fall, fall at the feet of Jesus.
When you fail, throw yourself at Him.
21. Legalism and license are equal and opposite reactions to each other.
It usually doesn't help to accuse people of one or the other error. And even if it is true, they are probably like that because they grew up in an environment that specialized in the exact opposite sin.
22. God's love is radical.
But the idea of it has become so familiar to us, we take it for granted.
Nearly every one, especially those into theology, know 1 Corinthians 13, but very few of us actually believe it. We have familiarized it into inconsequence.
But seriously -- if you are the most knowledgeable, orthodox, otherwise spiritually astute Christian in the universe (or even just your local congregation), but don't have love, you suck.
23. Most of us don't get grace.
Consequently we don't extend it to others, and we don't experience it from others.
Consequently our churches are largely graceless.
We shoot our wounded, and on the other hand we are constantly measuring ourselves and others by impossible standards.
24. It's okay to say "I don't know."
Don't let anyone make you feel like it's not.
25. Twenty-five seems like a good stopping point, although I could go on and on.
Jesus took the sin of the world upon himself and died as sacrifice and rose as victor.
You can enter his kingdom today by repenting of your sin and putting your trust in him and his work for salvation. Believe that Jesus is God's Son and that God raised him from the dead.
Many find it helpful to "announce" such belief in a simple prayer to God. Don't worry about the words. God knows your heart, and he is changing it anyway.
Dicing With Death
What is it about Islamic violence that people don't get? It's not like the followers of Allah haven't proved their blood lust in slaughtering innocents before 7/7. They murdered hundreds of school children in Beslan, and killed 25, Shia apostates, children each one, in Iraq today. But tonight, the BBC is still not sure whether four British lads had the will, and the inclination, to murder their fellow citizens on London's transport system. They're still clinging to hope that the bombers may have been duped into delivering their bombs.
This response has echoes to the American reaction to 9/11 when many Yanks asked "Why do they hate us so much?" That question now looks as silly as it was then. They hate Americans because Americans resist them. If they don't hate you, grow your beard and buy a pair of sandles, because you've already lost the war.
Also, Miller notes that even after Muslim terrorists bombed London's transit system, the BBC can't quite bring itself to calling them terrorists. Miller and his clever readers have some alternate euphemisms. My favorite is "mobile self-demolition specialists.". [Suicide Bombers]
Monday, July 18, 2005
The LIFESTYLE section of today Times Union had it all.
1) The comic strip BLONDIE celebrates it's 75 anniversary. It's originator is long since deceased but his son continues to, at age 65, produce the strip. This is the nice article in LIFESTYLE.
2) "Commercials at the movies? Better get used to it." (Life in the USA is quickly becoming one long commercial. Yeech)
3) A new film, ARISTOCRATS, is so dirty that at least one major chain will not bring it to their theaters. (Good) But the usual crowd cries that AMC's decision to not carry the filth is a blow against free speech. (Bad) The movie is apparently a series of very dirty, gross, foul jokes told by some of the comedians you know and love(d). How does this translate into a movie? Sigh
4) Last but not least LIFESTYLE has an article entitled "A richly American sound created by gay composers." According to this article the composer's gayness may well have contributed to this music providing "working class idealism and traditional family values."
Sure; we're all happy now.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
LATER IN BRITAIN: See, too, Michael Portillo in The Sunday Times of London arguing that mindless multiculturalism is over:
Tolerance was clearly never meant to mean that Britain should allow those with roots outside the country to flout human rights and the laws of the land on the pretext that things were done differently where they came from. The Ayn Rand Institute is right to say that it is dangerous nonsense to pretend that all cultures are morally equivalent. Such sloppy thinking corrodes our ability to distinguish good from evil.
Much to the delight of those of us who follow the Tour De France, George Hincapie - Lance's good friend and faithful Lt. - won his first ever Tour stage; the hardest stage in this years competition.
If ever there was a deserving winner, it is George. For the past 7 years, George has faithfully done his part to set Lance up so Lance could win stage after stage and Tour after Tour. For George to be a faithful Lt. he's had to sacrifice his own hopes and dreams of winning the Tour. And the reality is that though George is a great, world-class bike rider, he would never be able to take a Tour away from Lance - who may be the greatest ever. Eddie Merx, Bernard Hinault and our own GREG LEMOND, could have ridden with Lance in their prime but who knows if they could have beaten him. But George is not in that league.
Discovery Team has not ridden particularly well in the moutains this year so the strategy today was to send George out early with any decent breakaway; build up a lead and then drift back to Lance when they came to the last mountain stages. This would guarantee Lance had team support when and where it would be most difficult; the last couple of climbs.
Basically it went like clockwork. George went out with an early breakaway that at one time was 18 minutes ahead of the main Peloton. When the breakway was that far ahead, the Discovery Team managers began to wonder if maybe George could actually win the thing. The key to letting George stay ahead was Lance. As long as Lance had his main rivals in sight ( Ivan Basso, Jan Ulrich and Michael Rasmussen) George would not be needed. But if Lance were to begin losing time to his 3 rivals, George would have to drift back to help Lance out.
Well inevitably the group of elite riders began to reel in the breakaway. Finally only George and an Italian rider were left on the break and they were 5 minutes ahead going up the last climb. Luckily, Lance had done his part keeping his main competitors in view so George had the green light to try and win the stage. He finally took the lead from the Italian with 300 yards to go and sprinted to victory. We, the American Tour Fans, are ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED that faithful George Hincapie just won the biggest race of his career.
Sometimes great things happen to good people! JB
Saturday, July 16, 2005
We have embarked upon a new, lethal era. It is the era of the suicide bomber and I don't think it will end very quickly. Unless you haven't been paying attention you already know this; there is great evil in the world.
Suicide bombings are just the latest, but not necessarily the most dangerous, manifestation of the evil. For a variety of reasons, Islam apparently lends itself to the practice. And until the "Moral Majority" of the Muslims ( it there is such a thing) begin to put the hammer down upon the men who encourage and arm other Muslims currently committing this despicable acts, the custom will undoubtedly continue. Mothers, grandmothers, wives, girlfriends, aunts, teachers and others must bring this to a stop.
Here's 1 reality. The USA cannot stop the suicide bombers. While many of us have had the fantasy of just "nuking the whole darn crew" it is NOT going to happen. We cannot possibly kill all the potential suicide bombers. We can't capture and imprison all of the suicide bombers. It is absolutely inevitable that we will be bombed on our own soil. From the terrorists perspective, being the first on-the-ground suicide bomber in the USA would be a great coup. I'm sure there are many muslims who have pictured in their "hall of fame" some of the terrorist who destroyed the Twin Towers. Those people are heros to a lot of Muslims.
We know they're crazy and evil. The sane world also realizes they are without excuse. But then the "sane world" seems small compared to the "insane world" as expressed below.
(Found on the dailyablution)
.... columnist Paul Vallely really kicks things off with an analysis piece (paid link omitted). "Root causes" are of course the Holy Grail of the Indy mindset - and Mr. Vallely has discovered them.
He asks "what turns lads from Leeds into suicide bombers?", noting that, until now, "answers given have been partial and unsatisfactory." Fortunately for students of the terrorist mentality worldwide, Mr. Vallely steps in to fill the knowledge gap.
It seems that, broadly speaking, there are three "root causes," with one being paramount. They are:
Individual psychological factors - which, in the case of the particular terrorists in question, include the desire to "right the wrongs of his past," as well as the wish to "make the world a better place by taking power for the powerless."
Religious factors. It may surprise many of Mr. Vallely's readers that religion is a factor in Islamist terror, but it apparently is. Not the most important one, though - "such dubious religion would not have much purchase" were it not for the primary root cause.
And can you guess what that main cause would be? Well of course you can! It's us. Or, more specifically, the "alienation" we cause. Mr. Vallely explains (emphasis added):
"The real causes [of homegrown terrorism] are more worryingly complex.
"Alienation is a cultural rather than an economic process. It is rooted in racists who indiscriminately call out 'Bin Laden' or 'Taliban' to Asians in the street. It is there in media reports about forced marriages and honour killings. It is there in animal rights protests about halal meat. It is there in the sneers of liberals who mock that legislation outlawing religious hatred would stop Rowan Atkinson telling jokes."
Can't you see? It is there in all of us. We are the ultimate root cause.
Yes indeedy, we are the cause of the suicide bombers evil. All you Caucasian males out there; raise your right hand and repeat after me. "It's all my fault."
Okay men, that's a good start for now. Later on we'll move to self flagelation, tearing our clothes, shaving our heads and sitting in ash heaps cutting ourselves with sharp bits of pottery. But for now it's enough to raise the right arm and say; "It's all my fault."
Friday, July 15, 2005
Interesting article about cocaine and the European Union.
Cocaine traces at EU parliament
Cocaine traces have been found at the European Parliament in an inquiry by one of Germany's main broadcasters.
The Sat-1 channel sent reporters to take 46 swabs from toilets and other public areas of the Brussels buildings. Nearly all tested positive for cocaine.
A European Parliament spokeswoman said cocaine abuse was not a problem among staff working at the buildings.
A professor who analysed the samples said the amounts found were too great to have been carried in on clothing.
"It simply reflects the fact that cocaine was brought in there," Professor Fritz Sorgel of the Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research in Nuremberg (IBMP) told the BBC News website.
"The amount was too high and found in too many spots. It shows it was brought in deliberately."
It seems the findings are in line with findings in other public buildings
Marjory van den Broeke
European Parliament spokeswoman
However, he said the results were not so surprising given the widespread use of cocaine in society at large.
As the buildings are cleaned regularly, it appeared that cocaine had been used recently in the places where the traces were found, Mr Sorgel said.
A total of 41 of the reporters' swabs tested positive for cocaine.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
CHICAGO (Reuters) - That was easy.
A bank robber behind the wheel of his car on Tuesday sent a note through a vacuum tube to the teller at the drive-through window at a branch of Chicago's LaSalle Bank and the teller obliged, returning an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.
The exchange was completed through the bank's pneumatic tube communications system, in which canisters are passed back and forth between motorist and teller.
The FBI said it was investigating the drive-through theft.
JB here: A friend of mine earlier today sent me a funny e-mail detailing other stupidities. I wonder if there is actually a bank teller so inept that she responds to a hold-up note not realizing that the robber in his car can't actually shoot her -- or anybody else for that matter. But I'm afraid there is a bank teller out there is who is at least "one burrito short of a combo meal." sigh
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
The "real" Tour De France hit the alps today. The last 13 miles of the day went up to a ski lift.
Lance blew his main rivals absolutely away. He only took second ( same time as the winner) but he laid 2 minutes plus on his main rivals. So now he's got at least 3 minutes on his main rivals; though the mountain expert, Rasmussen, is only 38 seconds down.
Vinokourov, Ullrich, Basso, Mayo, Landis, Julich, et. al. Lance toasted them.
They now know they're fighting for second on the podium.
When you're in the Tour De France, it's really all about your ability to withstand pain.
Lance can stand pain; indeed.
For a really excellent story; read today's dailypeloton.com
Sunday, July 10, 2005
The miner said the food situation in Chongjin had gotten worse in the last year because of inflation.
"There is food in the market, but people can't afford to buy it," he said late last year in China. People are "getting weaker physically, financially."
"In North Korea," he added matter-of-factly, "I don't remember a single day when I had a normal, happy life."
HERE is the full article.
Dennis is coming ashore today. It is slated to hit somewhere around the Mobile, Al. or Pensacola, Fl. area. It will probably come in as a Category 4 - a big one. 10 months ago Hurricane Ivan came ashore within the same general area. To this day, Pensacola and it's surrounding areas have not totally recovered. Roofs remain unfixed; house have not been fully rebuilt and lives remain uprooted.
Pensacola doesn't need this.
But then it's a reminder: we don't really have control do we. Most of life is, in fact, out of our control. About the only thing we actually have control of is our ATTITUDE.
I'll work on mine today! JB
The reverence and esteem for the scientific community should be tempered with a clear understanding of the nature of all mankind/womankind/childkind - etc.
In the ancient book of Jeremiah it says; the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?
BE WISE! UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF MANKIND!
By MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer Sat Jul 9, 6:32 PM ET
Allegations of misconduct by U.S. researchers reached record highs last year as the" type="hidden"> SEARCH
News | News Photos | Images | Web" type="hidden"> Department of Health and Human Services received 274 complaints — 50 percent higher than 2003 and the most since 1989 when the federal government established a program to deal with scientific misconduct.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
"their music was described as being the same song rewritten 200 times"
Now that's just plain cold. Oh yes, it's true but it's still cold! JB
Supposedly the tax is for our and their good. By taxing them, we'll spend less money on medicare, medicaid etc.
Hmm! It sounds good but other research suggests that smokers die earlier then the rest of us thereby allowing for less expenditures on medicare, less expenditures on social security, less expenditures on state nursing homes. In other words, a smoking population is a dying population. And that saves "the Gov." money doesn't it.
But there's other facts that get in the way.
The Truth About "Health Impact Fees" Read all about it HERE!
Governor Pawlenty recently proposed a 75� cigarette tax increase dubbed a "health impact fee." Increasing the cigarette tax is bad policy and opens a Pandora's box of new taxes:
* Smokers pay their way. Proponents of a cigarette tax increase claim that it will help to offset the additional health care costs imposed by smokers. However, research by the Rand Foundation and Harvard economist Kip Viscusi shows that smokers more than pay their way already. In his book, Smoke-Filled Rooms: A Postmortem on the Tobacco Deal (excerpt here), Viscusi shows that Minnesota smokers actually generate a financial gain to the state of 10.5 cents per pack - include state revenues from the cigarette tax and the state receives a financial gain of 58.5 cents per pack from smokers (see also Viscusi's article "Smoke & Mirrors")
Creates black markets. Another reason that cigarette tax increase don't bring in the money as expected is that high cigarette taxes move sales to the black market. A case in point is New York City, where exorbitant taxes on cigarettes have resulted in the creation of a thriving, billion-dollar black market for cigarettes. One former congressman quipped, "You almost can't find a legal cigarette in the city." According to economist Mark Stehr of Drexel University, the 10 states with the highest cigarette tax rates had the most evasion (untaxed consumption of 10.6%) while the 10 states with the lowest cigarette tax rates had the least evasion (untaxed consumption of 2.6%)
Oh well, LIFE in these United States. It's quite amazing isn't it.
Friday, July 08, 2005
In The Last Lion, William Manchester wrote that upon becoming prime minister, Churchill said he "thought long and hard these last few days about whether I should enter into negotiations with that man [Hitler] and I have concluded that if this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end when each of us lies on the ground choking in his own blood."
Churchill's words lift the hairs on the back of my neck. Besides being a brilliant statesman, he was a man among men. But only a year or two after leading Britain to victory the English people voted in Clement Atlee ( who?) as Prime Minister.
You have to say, What Were They Thinking? Clement Atlee? Sheesh. But that is the nature of politics. People always searching for the political messiah who will not have feet of clay?
One point about George W. Bush. What can't be denied is this. He is truly a change agent. For better or for worse.
Anyhow, "dailykos.com" is a very popular, very liberal website. But even "Kos" had enough today with the far left deciding the London bombing was a Bush/Rove - Blair plot to retain political power. I think you'll find this interesting.
Fri Jul 8th, 2005 at 08:48:56 PDT
Today I did something I've never done before (not even during the Fraudster mess), and wish I'd never had to do.
I made a mass banning of people perpetuating a series of bizarre, off-the-wall, unsupported and frankly embarassing conspiracy theories.
I have a high tolerance level for material I deem appropriate for this site, but one thing I REFUSE to allow is bullsh*t conspiracy theories. You know the ones -- Bush and Blair conspired to bomb London in order to take the heat off their respective political problems. I can't imagine what f**ing world these people live in, but it sure ain't the Reality Based Community.
So I banned these people, and those that have been recommending diaries like it. And I will continue to do so until the purge is complete, and make no mistake -- this is a purge.
This is a reality-based community. Those who wish to live outside it should find a new home. This isn't it.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
As we stand with the people of Great Britain, we recall the words of Winston Churchill in his great speech of October 5, 1938:
[D]o not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning.This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time. (Tip to Powerlineblog.com)
As a believer, one does wonder what will come upon this world in the coming days, weeks, months and years. In the ancient book of Revelation, the pictures painted are surely grim and devastating. Some people believe they're myth, others believe they're factual pictures of things to come. Either way, there is little room for optimism for life here on planet Earth.
Today's bombings in London are but a small thing - approximately 40 deaths or so, 350 injured. Life ended, life disturbed, life taking unexpected turns for familys and friends of the dead and injured. Of course it's a BIG THING if you are there and it's your friends and family. But in the larger picture of global warfare, it is a small thing.
At it's root, the problem is Godless nihlism. And, urging on the Godless nihlism is the black , fallen prince and his minions. He revels in the death of innocents. He revels in chaos and destruction.
So that is the battle. We are poorly prepared, staggeringly unaware of the spiritual dimension of this war.
I doubt the churches and temples of Great Britain will be newly filled with people seeking after God this Sunday/Sabbath. I could be wrong, but they don't yet believe and this little "bump in the road" is probably not sufficient warning to the spiritually apathetic.
We need a couple more people like Winston Churchchill to stand in the gap and call the nations to moral renewal based upon the character of the Creator God.
Pray? That would be good I'm thinking. JB
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Periodically I meet with people who have undergone a "nervous breakdown." Actually, as you can read below, "nervous breakdown" was abandoned as a diagnosis 35 years ago. But, in my own sphere, I've brought it back. I find it so much more descriptive than "major depression." I don't think that term really conveys the richness and depths of a nervous breakdown.
My oldest cousin and I suspect my grandmother had a "nervous breakdown" when her boys (my father and my uncle) were in their teens. Apparently she went into her bedroom and did not come out for about 2 years. I don't know a whole lot about her history but I now she had 3 still births. I suspect a lot of women might "snap" under those circumstances.
The agony and fear some people experience can be horrific. Years ago, a baseball player named Jimmy Piersall wrote about his "nervous breakdown" while he was still playing. The name of the book was FEAR STRIKES OUT! In my dim memory I remember him saying he continued to play baseball but basically lost track of time, memory and circumstances for about 9 months. He gradually came back.
The good news seems to be; they all come back. And that is the hope you attempt to convey when you're meeting with someone in the midst of a "nervous breakdown."
What is a nervous breakdown? (From howstuffworks.com/question653.htm)
In the Middle Ages, it was called melancholia. In the early 1900s, it was known as neurasthenia. From the 1930s to about 1970, it was known as a nervous breakdown. "Nervous breakdown" is a term that the public uses to characterize a range of mental illnesses, but generally it describes the experience of "snapping" under immense pressure, mental collapse or mental and physical exhaustion.
"Nervous breakdown" is not a clinical term. There is no psychiatric definition of a nervous breakdown, and it has nothing to do with nerves. "Nervous breakdown" is an inexact and unscientific term that is no longer used in psychiatry. Much as modern medicine breaks down diseases into more specific definitions (not just "cancer," but "stage 1 ovarian cancer"), modern psychiatry is breaking the term "nervous breakdown" into more precise diagnoses.
The diagnosis that most closely resembles what the public calls a nervous breakdown is major depression. Depressive episodes may be caused by genetic and biological factors and are often triggered by social and environmental circumstances. Depression is defined as the "loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities" and "sustained fatigue without physical exertion." Depression is characterized by a lack of energy and motivation along with feelings of guilt or hopelessness. It is often brought on by stressful situations, such as relationship difficulties, health problems, the aftermath of an accident or the death of a loved one.
The mental illness known as a "nervous breakdown" may also be something like panic attacks, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or acute stress disorder.
Surveys show that about one-third of Americans feel on the verge of a nervous breakdown at some point. Studies estimate that 50-million Americans suffer some form of mental illness in their lifetime.
Depression is treated through medication and psychiatric counseling.
Me, Ron 'n Ed are all in our 50's. We like George Bush; and here's why.
Bush Lays Waste to Gleneagles
So President Bush gets on his bike at the G8 summit in Gleneagles and goes for a ride in the rain, and ends up crashing into a Scottish police officer and tumbling on the pavement: Bush Involved in Bike Crash in Scotland.
He's got the cycling bug. Bad.
Yes, to quote Charles of LittleGreenFootballs, "He's got the cycling bug. Bad."
Now G.W. is into mountain biking. Trails, rough paths, hills, brush and SCRAPES & BRUISES. Frankly F.O.M.Bi.C. is a little tamer. We stick to the roads on our Lance Armstrong type racing bikes (a little less expensive if you know what I mean). With a racing bike, the smallest trace of sand can catapult you into "Road Rash Territory." Road rash is simply not fun. So we elderly types try really hard to remain upright atop our bikes.
Of interest to some bloggers, Charles Johnson of the aforementioned LIttleGreenFootballs is also an avid cyclist. He lives on the Southern California coast somewhere between Santa Monica and Palos Verdes apparently. He regularly posts some of the picture from his rides. They make me green with envy. Southern California has some very nice rides. I used to live there and have ridden along those same sands as Charles. Maybe next time I go visit, I'll rent a bike while I'm out there and try to ride.
Keep those lungs breathing and that heart pumping. Bicycling is wonderful cardiovascular excercise.
Monday, July 04, 2005
I was reminded of our Gloucestershire lad by some remarks Frank Field made at a Centre for Policy Studies seminar last week. The subject under debate was poverty and social disintegration, and pondering the collapse of civility in modern Britain Mr Field gave seven reasons. Number One, he said, was the decline of religion.
At that point, many Britons will simply have tuned out for the remaining six, and the more disapproving ones will be speculating darkly on whether, like yours truly and other uptight squares, he has "casual sex" issues. Religion is all but irrelevant to public discussion in the United Kingdom, and you'd have to search hard for an Anglican churchman prepared to argue in public, as Mr Field does, that material poverty derives from moral poverty.
But the point is: he's not wrong. There aren't many examples of successful post-religious societies. And, if one casts around the world today, one notices the two powers with the worst prospects are the ones most advanced in their post-religiosity. Russia will never recover from seven decades of Communism: its sickly menfolk have a lower life expectancy than Bangladeshis; its population shrinks by 100 every hour, and by 0.4 per cent every year, a rate certain to escalate as the smarter folks figure it's better to emigrate than get sucked down in the demographic death spiral.
And then, of course, there's the European Union. ..............
Saturday, July 02, 2005
To make it complete we need commentary from "Mork of Ork." Robin Williams, call home!
Watch Deep Impact's Comet Collision Via Webcast
You don't have to be a scientist to grab a front row seat when the NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft bears down on a comet between July 3 and 4.
Live webcasts of the event will be provided by NASA and several observatories, large and small, to offer skywatchers a digital view to the cometary collision.
NASA's Deep Impact mission is slated to crash an 820-pound (371-kilogram) Impactor probe into Comet Tempel 1 and record the event via a Flyby mothership, orbital observatories like the Hubble and Spitzer space telescope, and a myriad of ground-based telescopes from around the world. The impact is expected to take place at 1:52 a.m. EDT (0552 GMT) on July 4.