Archive for December, 2008

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Were they just smarter then?

December 30, 2008

I’ve been reading, and enjoying, the slightly demented tales of H.P. Lovecraft, an early 20th Century horror/science fiction writer. His stories are highly imaginative, although they lean toward the darker side.

Anyway, long story short (or short stories long as the case may be) I’m finding his vocabulary rich and his characters and plots are very strong. I ask myself, “this is a writer of horror and fantasy, not genres renowned for strength of any of these aspects, so were people just smarter before our time?” I keep putting off reading amusing ourselves to death by Neil Postman, which I borrowed from a friend at last New Year’s (sorry Emily) but I suspect his answer would be that we’re just dumber.

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Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2008

That about sums it up. I hope you have or have had a wonderful day.

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The New Pharisiasm

December 22, 2008

I was always fascinated by the pharisees.  When I learned that they had created a whole model of living that had the weight of scripture with extrascriptural practices I could see why Jesus, the inspirer of scripture, was so mad at them.  Neil Cole says we’re doing the same thing now.

Along the same line, the church has laid down what it considers healthy constraints to safeguard the righteous standards of God’s people. Directives are given such as: go to church (read a religious event on Sundays or in some cases Saturdays), don’t listen to secular music, stay away from R-rated movies, and abstain from all alcohol. These are not bad ideas for some people and may even be wise suggestions given the right context. Unfortunately, what begins as suggestion soon attains the clout of holy writ, especially when religious leaders pronounce them with authority and support them with Scripture verses ripped violently out of context. In little time we find ourselves functioning in a religious culture that has biblical principles intertwined with man-made injunctions, and few can distinguish between them. In fact we are certain to mix up the two, and spiritual priorities get messed up.

This is the problem, people start to think going to Church and living a good life abstaining from various “evil” things is all it takes to be a “good” Christian.  Unfortuately,we’re called to so much more.  As Cole says, we’re called to be living “in radical obedience to his word” not the extra stuff.

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If I needed a world leader at my back.

December 14, 2008

I think I’d choose Bush, the guy moves quick.

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Don’t need a license

December 14, 2008

Gun control, gun control, gun control.

It is an issue that just won’t go away.  I usually find myself of the mindset that says, sure, we should make people prove both their ability to use a gun without “accidents” before we let them buy one.  However George Jonas makes an interesting point about gun control and the Indian terror attacks.  Essentially, he says that the law abiding citizens in India, with the strictest gun control on earth, were victims largely because the gun wielding terrorists didn’t follow the law and the gun wielding policemen did not do anything until it was too late.  By keeping guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens the Indian government gave the terrorists a leg up.  Jonas says,

“Guns don’t kill, people do.” The gun lobby’s old slogan is true enough, but it’s also true that guns make people more efficient killers. That’s why gun control would be such a splendid idea if someone could find a way to make criminals and lunatics obey it. Since only law-abiding citizens obey it, it’s not such a hot idea. It’s more like trying to control stray dogs by neutering veterinarians.

He goes on to say,

There are Second Amendment absolutists in America, and libertarians elsewhere, who regard a person’s birthright to own/carry a firearm beyond the state’s power to regulate. I’m not one of them. I think it’s reasonable for communities to set thresholds of age, proficiency, legal status, etc., for the possession of lethal weapons, just as they set standards for the operation of motor vehicles, airplanes and ham radios. But it seems to me that, within common sense perimeters, you’d want to enhance, not diminish, the defensive capacity of the good guys, and increase rather than decrease the number of auxiliary crime-fighters who are available to be deputized when the bad guys start climbing over the fence.

Exactly.

Update: License is one of those words that always gets me.  Post retitled accordingly.

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Save Us College Kids

December 12, 2008

Nearing the end of what has been my most stressful end of semesters I only have this song playing through my head.

College Kids by Relient K.

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Harper may have trouble

December 11, 2008

I should be studying, and I feel like hell with a dratted head cold that came at the worst possible moment, but I feel the need to comment for some unknown reason on Iggy.  Which is apparently the nickname for Michael Ignatieff.

I like him.

I know what he’s got going against him, and a quick read anywhere will list those things in a negative or apologetic light.  But in the few interviews I’ve watched him in he exudes something that until recently only Harper had in Canadian politics: leadership.

This means that Harper is going to have to be a bit more careful, Ignatieff doesn’t look like someone easily pushed around.  Which means we might actually see some sort of give and take in politics, which is critical in a minority parliament.

Oh, and Ignatieff is a Toronto MP.  Which means he could be a Toronto Prime Minister, we haven’t had one of those in a long time.