Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McCain on progressive taxation: 2000, 2004, 2008.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

McCain vs. Obama dance-off


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Before you vote-- one honest argument for McCain

Here's one refreshingly honest list of reasons to vote FOR McCain, by Charles Krauthammer. In a spirit of fair play, I'd encourage folks to consider the arguments before voting.

McCain for President

I find it refreshing because it's not based on innuendo (Ayers), fantasy in science (Drill, Baby, Drill), fantasy in economics (tax cuts), or hatred (mockery of reading Al Qaeda their rights). I disagree with the assessments he offers in the article, but I'd say that conservatives would do well to hire Krauthammer to advise future campaigns.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All kinds of wrong about "spreading the message of Jesus Christ"

North Carolina Congressman Robin Hayes has gotten some heat in the liberal press for remarks he said in 2006 about our policy in Iraq. The comments are quoted quoted here and here.
"Stability in Iraq ultimately depends on spreading the message of Jesus Christ, the message of peace on earth, good will towards men. Everything depends on everyone learning about the birth of the Savior."

Now don't get me wrong. I believe it is the will of the Creator of the Universe that everyone know Jesus as Lord and Savior: the Bible tells me so. I also believe that a world where all seek to live by the code of the bible will be one where all seek selfless service of the poor. "Where all obey you, no one will hunger," saith the old hymn.

To this extent, I am probably in sharp disagreement with every liberal who started wailing at the religious content of Rep. Hayes' speech.

On the other hand, I would say that what the neoconservatives are pushing is neither good for stability nor in accord with the Word of God. What neoconservatives are pushing is not even in tune with the Republicanism of GWH Bush, probably not of Reagan, and definitely not of the Nixon-Eisenhower years. Torture, runaway deficits, spying, greed.

As far as the peace of Christ, I was reminded of these two statements about the effect of the invasion of Iraq on Christians living there:

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania issued this statement in 2003
"A war against Iraq will lead to great harm for humanity and God's creation, in Iraq and for the Arab world.

War against Iraq can sharpen religious animosities between Muslims and Christians throughout the world. Therefore we call upon all who are in position to decide for or against war with Iraq, and upon the government of Iraq, that they do all within their power, that they pray for wisdom and boldness from God, and demonstrate sensitivity to the world at large, by averting war.

"No one will be ashamed if this war does not take place except Satan."

L.A. Times editorial, A Christian exodus:
"In opposing the invasion of Iraq, the late Pope John Paul II was motivated primarily by a concern about the carnage on all sides that a war would produce; but he also had reason to worry about the fate of Iraqi Christians once Saddam Hussein was deposed. Despite his crimes, Hussein offered protection for Christians against militant Muslims."

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm a P2P file-sharer, too.

The internet connection in my house kept dropping last night.

I noticed that it was dropping during those times I was using the BitTorrent client KTorrent on my kubuntu linux box. When I stopped using KTorrent, the connection stopped dropping. It may be a mere coincidence, perhaps my wireless router is busted, or not.

There are stories about internet service providers engaging in dirty tricks to interrupt the use of BitTorrent. There are also stories where it is presumed or falsely accused that all use of BitTorrent is for the sharing of files in violation of copyright. Some companies with outdated business models (RIAA, MicroSoft) may also have a vested interest in thwarting legal alternatives to their product (creative-commons-licensed music; linux) which are distributed across Torrents. As a way of saying Ich bin ein Berliner, I thought I'd share an example of one person's legal use of Torrents.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Biblical Zionism versus American evangelicals' Zionism

The promise of God that the descendants of Abraham will possess the land forever is an intriguing one, as it has implications in modern foreign policy. It might not make sense to be on the side of opposing something God has decreed as eternal, aside from any humanitarian or ethical considerations. I've always wondered exactly what the promise means. Early on, there's indications that his descendants would be as numerous as the starts, later on, it's said that they already are. I would guess that the later articulations of the promise in scripture should carry some weight. Here's one from Ezekiel 33:
13 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "These are the boundaries by which you are to divide the land for an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel, with two portions for Joseph. 14 You are to divide it equally among them. Because I swore with uplifted hand to give it to your forefathers, this land will become your inheritance.

15 "This is to be the boundary of the land:
"On the north side it will run from the Great Sea by the Hethlon road past Lebo [f] Hamath to Zedad, 16 Berothah [g] and Sibraim (which lies on the border between Damascus and Hamath), as far as Hazer Hatticon, which is on the border of Hauran. 17 The boundary will extend from the sea to Hazar Enan, [h] along the northern border of Damascus, with the border of Hamath to the north. This will be the north boundary.
21 "You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. 23 In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance," declares the Sovereign LORD.
God's promise is for the Israelites and for the aliens who have settled among you. This sounds like a one-state option for Israel. The Word of God says that the aliens residing among the Israelites are to be considered as native-born Israelites.

Too often, the response of American evangelicals to be whole-hearted support for an Ariel Sharon vision of Israel, where brutality is to be a tool in suppressing the aliens who reside among the Israelites, a vision of a two-state option, which is supported in order to keep a democratic majority for Israelites in one section, a vision where there are such things as "Jewish-only" roads. This whole set-up, in my humble opinion, is not in tune with the promise that God laid out in Ezekiel 33.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

McCain getting testy

Posted here, without vetting, after seeing a description on a The Nation blog article.