Monday, May 31, 2004


This is what is happening in Sudan. Sudan, BTW, happens to be a member of the UN Human Rights Commission.

UPDATE: Never Again?

Iraqi blogs

A weekly roundup of blogs written by Iraqis can be found here. Via Instapundit.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

LA Times plagiarizes

An editor at the LA Times "improves" a story by lifting a paragraph whole cloth from a NY Times story that is to be published the same day. Story here.

UPDATE: That should be a Washington Post story, not a NY Times story. The confusion is based on the fact that the paragraph is about a NY Times story.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I scoop the unofficial L.A. Times watchdog blog, Patterico's Pontifications, here.


For those concerned by rumors flying around the Internet that a draft will be reinstated, check out Snopes's take (Snopes being the Internet's reigning Urban Legends debunking site). The article is available here.

Key quote:

As reflected in the message quoted above, the draft issue has largely come to public attention due to pair of bills introduced in Congress (S.89 and H.R.163) which seek to obligate all citizens and residents of the U.S. beween the ages of 18 and 26 (both male and female) to perform a two-year period of national service (not necessarily as part of the military), and the Selective Service's advertising for volunteers to man draft boards around the country. However, both the Congressional bills were introduced back in January 2003 and have languished in committee ever since with seemingly little support, and the Selective Service maintains that the timing of ads to fill draft board positions was coincidental, part of a process of filling expired board positions that has been underway for several years.

Sounds mostly like me, I think . . .

"We reject the false doctrine that the church could have permission to hand over the form
of its message and of its order to whatever it itself might wish or to the vicissitudes of the
prevailing ideological and political convictions of the day."
You are Karl Barth!
You like your freedom, and are pretty stubborn against authority! You don't
care much for other people's opinions either. You can come up with your own fun, and
often enough you have too much fun. You are pretty popular because you let people have their
way, even when you have things figured out better than them.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

Al Gore "spinning out of control"


This ain't really a fisking, since Yahoo! didn't provide the whole transcript. But there's a lot to do with what is there.

"How dare they subject us to such dishonor and disgrace! How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison!"

Yes, Abu Ghraib was horrendous. But psychological humiliation is not comparable to the hundreds of thousands that were killed or physically tortured by the Hussein regime. The isolated deplorable incidents that occurred at Abu Ghraib and are now being punished are not comparable to the institutionalized human rights abuses under the Hussein regime. Who is "drag[ging] the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison"? Those who would make the comparison between America and the Hussein regime -- namely, Al Gore.

Rice "ought to resign immediately. She has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy. This is a disaster for our country," he said.

What is a disaster? I wish Yahoo! had provided more context. With Iraq calming down and moving closer to democracy daily, the country's long-term safety is better than ever. Other regimes in the region

  • Know that we are serious about regime change in the Mid-East

  • Will see that democracy is a viable form of government in the region

  • Will be influenced by a free market/free culture nation on their borders

What's the disaster? The effort on the ground is going very well, with only a very small portion of Iraq under insurgency. The only way we can be defeated is if we defeat ourselves: if the American populace becomes disheartened about the war and calls for a premature pullout from Iraq. And this'll only happen if POLITICIANS KEEP GOING ON THE AIR LYING ABOUT ABOUT HOW DISASTROUS THE SITUATION IS. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"It came from twisted values and atrocious policies at the highest levels of our government," he said.

What did? Is Abu Ghraib still the Democrat's main issue? Yes, it's atrocious. Yes, those responsible should be punished. But the Department of Defense was on this three months before the story broke.

President Bush "has exposed Americans abroad and Americans in every town and city to a greater danger of attacks by terrorists because of his arrogance, willfulness and bungling at stirring up hornets' nests that pose no threat whatsoever to us," Gore said.

Gore said that because of the war, Iraq has "become the central recruiting office for terrorists." The administration, he said, has also set up U.S. soldiers for "payback the next time they are held as prisoners."

Right. Hussein posed no threat whatsoever to us. Just ignore the WMD just found in Iraq. Ignore the "pesticides" that were found stored at military facilities, as well as buried in underground bunkers at agricultural facilities -- this in April 2003. Ignore the money Hussein funneled to terrorists in Israel. Ignore the level to which the UN became corrupted as a result of Saddam's oil-for-food dealings.

Everything can be explained away by the mentality that the terrorists won't terrorize if we just capitulate. Remember Chamberlain?

Or maybe Gore actually has a serious plan for Iraq, some better solution that he's provided to Kerry?

He said that Kerry should not "tie his own hands" while campaigning by offering any specific proposals for how he would handle a situation that is "rapidly changing and, unfortunately, rapidly deteriorating."

Guess not . . .

UPDATE: Via Instapundit, other blogger's reactions here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Via blogs4god above, here's a transcript.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

No joke

I used to have one of these. I caught it in Colorado (it was about 1-2 inches long), got it into a Tupperware container and then duct-taped it shut. I carried that thing around for a full week, until I got back to Chicago, and it survived the whole time. I converted a large jar into a terrarium, dropped it in there, and fed it a cricket. Then it died.

UN Record

Interesting site: in-depth list of the United Nations' Resolutions adopted so far, here.

Update on the Garland family

Bob and Mary Garland are family friends who have served as missionaries to South America for many years. During this time, they've been featured in various news articles, including NPR's "All Things Considered" and a front-page article in the Chicago Tribune Magazine.
Bob Garland has been fighting cancer for many years now -- he's been told a couple times that he's had only a short time to live, just to find his body miraculously fight the disease into remission. His wife, Mary, just sent out this email:

Dear LOved Ones,

There's not much new to write except that Bob is getting thinner and weaker. He barely is eating or drinking enough to keep alive. The hospice people telll me this is typical and that I should offer food and drink but not get strong about urging him to eat or drink. That's hard when I see him take only a few mouthfuls or sips. He's still alert mentally (knows who we are and what's going on at the moment) though his memory (short-term) is not so reliable. Bethany and family were up to see him from Chicago this last weekend. She was disappointed in the deterioration she saw. He lies in bed and sleeps or has his eyes closed most of the time and cannot seem to muster up the energy to communicate at all. It's very hard to see him in this condition. The Lord gives me the grace to go on each day and I thank Him for that. Thanks so much for praying.

Please pray for Bethany and family. Their cottage at the campgrounds is at the point of flooding because the Des Plaines River has gone over its banks. There is widespread flooding throughout the Midwest and here in Michigan as well. The cottage was raised last year but the guy who raised it didn't do it right and used cinder blocks. Please pray that the cottage doesn't collapse and that it doesn't flood inside the cottage. That place is their home for 6 months out of the year - especially important now that Emily and Mike are back from Bolivia. They're back in their Chicago apt. right now waiting out the flood and are really crowded. Mike Jr. is planning to attend a community college here in Michigan and stay with Nate and Jeanine until he can find a job, roommates and an apartment. As you can see Bethany has a lot on her plate these days - as she always does - but we know God is merciful and so we're crying out to Him to bring a great deliverance for her during her time of need. Thanks for taking this upon your heart for prayer. The Lord bless you much.

Please pray for the Garland family, as they once again go through a time of trial and place their faith in God.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive, a handy tool for looking at old versions of various websites, can be found here.

For the Christian Gamers out There

Interesting site here. Not sure what to make of it. I know that generally, Christian video games have been subpar as far as gaming goes, and confusing as far as theology/doctrine goes. But I hope that this isn't necessarily true, and I would like to see a viable Christian game developer community spring up on the Net.

There's a Christian Game Developer's Conference! Hmm . . . Maybe I'll even be able to attend.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004


It's always fun when your demographic is the subject of a stereotyping article -- "Yes, Democrats Can Win (Some) White Male Voters".

Key quotes:

Yet if Mr. Kerry tries to woo the testosterone crowd, he risks losing support from the party's base, including women and minorities, said John B. Judis, co-author of 'The Emerging Democratic Majority' and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"The only thing he hasn't done is sit down with a six-pack and chew tobacco with them," said Donna Brazile, a veteran Democratic strategist and Mr. Gore's campaign manager in 2000.

But white men, more than other demographic groups, tend to rally around a sitting president at a time of war, said Jeffrey Bell, a longtime Republican strategist.

Iraq may be issue No. 1, but white men are susceptible to a populist message.

"White males, especially working class males, care about their jobs, and they care about things like health care," Ms. Brazile said.

To be competitive, she said, the Kerry campaign must aggressively court this sports channel audience.

The best idea, he said, is to let the manly symbols speak for themselves.

"My proposal is that the Kerry campaign run a 30-second ad which is nothing but John Kerry sitting on a couch and eating pretzels without involving paramedics at all," Mr. Katz said. "Guys can't help but be impressed by that, if he can get to the bottom of a bag of pretzels without someone having to call an ambulance."

All emphasis mine, BTW.

Who wants the UN in Iraq?

"UN Troops buy sex from teenage refugees in Congo camp"
"A Massacre in Kosovo"
"Report: NATO, UN Workers Fuel Kosovo Sex Trade"
"UN-Eritrea Row sinks to new low"
"Dark side of peacekeeping"
"Kofi's cover up"
"Lawmaker demands 'Oil-for-Food' documents"
"I'm not running away, says UN official in oil for food scandal"

All above links via Instapundit.

So, who wants the UN in Iraq?

"[W]e should bring NATO, we should bring the United Nations, we should bring other countries into the effort. We can still manage most of the security operation, even as we do that, but the humanitarian and the governance components of this must be broadened. We have to diffuse [sic] the perception and reality of American occupation. We have to get the target off of American troops" -- John Kerry

Ebola . . . In Sudan

Ebola outbreak in Sudan, reported on AOL. When was the last time Ebola broke out in Sudan? I know most of the recent outbreaks hae been in the Congo.

Ah -- just found this chronology of Ebola outbreaks.

Monday, May 24, 2004

States I've been to . . .

create your own personalized map of the USA
or write about it on the open travel guide

As discovered by Bluehighlights.



Secondly: Looks like the big Seekers show on June 5 (Sky Harbor, Side Walk Slam, The Insyderz, Subseven, and Kids in the Way) on June 5 has been cancelled, or just fell off the face of the earth. And I was really looking forward to it. Anyways, instead, one of our favorite (and already mentioned) local bands -- Dumpstar -- will be playing, along with What If (sorry, couldn't find a website). So I'll probably be going to Seekers that night anyway.

Thirdly: I'll be headed to Seattle the weekend of June 18th, with some co-workers, for no real reason. I'm gonna try to visit Tooth and Nail.


Okay, that's enough music info for the day, and maybe the week. I won't get into the possible Ace Troubleshooter shows at this point in time . . .

anti-Semitism at Berkeley

Check it out here. Via Volokh.

Great weekend

The weekend went well. First I moved in to my apartment in Virginia on Thursday, and had a housewarming party with some co-workers. Flew home to Chicago on Friday -- United's flight was only a couple hours late getting in. Saturday, went to a wonderful wedding between two people who love and deserve each other, and are also both deeply in love with God. The gospel message was preached, multiple times. Sunday, took a look at some Catholic doctrinal statements for Sunday School, in order to try to understand the differences between our beliefs and theirs. Quick excerpt:

"O merciful Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, thou, the Seat of Wisdom, hast established a throne of fresh mercy in the land that was once pagan, in order to draw all nations to salvation by means of the chaplet of mystical roses: remember that thy divine Son hath left us this saying: 'Other sheep I have that are not of this fold; them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.' Remember likewise that on Calvary thou didst become our Co-Redmptrix, by virtue of the crucifixion of Thy heart cooperating with Thy crucified Son in the salvation of the world; and from that day thou didst become the Restorer of the human race, the Refuge of sinners and the Mother of all mankind. . ." -- Pope Pius XII

Another bad experience with United on Sunday night -- our flight was delayed on the ground for three hours because of "weather", while the next flight from ORD to IAD left almost on time. So my co-workers, flying from and to the same places, were scheduled to land about 2 hours after my flight, yet ended up landing about 25 minutes earlier than my flight. "Weather" . . . That's been my United experience for about the last month. I'm seriously considering switching back to ATA from Midway to Reagan, even if it does add 45 minutes to my travel time on the ground in VA.

Got to my apartment, bought some books online (this, this and this), as well as Stavesacre's latest shirt and Live CD. I just think that axe T looks awesome, and the Live CD is just $5!

BTW -- this ain't yo daddy's college campus (via Instapundit). That's right -- college students spontaneously booing against liberal disinformation! Beautiful.

Alright. that's enough for now. It's after 2 in the morning, and I'm to be at work by 9. See y'all around.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Warner leaving Rams

Dilemma: I'm a St Louis Rams fan, mostly because Kurt Warner won me over in '99. Now, all indications are that Warner is leaving the Rams. So, who do I stick with -- the team, or my favorite player?

I'm going with the team, although it's hard. I've said to many people before that you're not a serious fan unless you pick a team and stay with them for life. My bro's a Packers fanatic, but I look down on him a little because he'd switch allegiances in a second if Favre changed teams. It's just my subjective opinion, tho -- who am I to say what a real fan is?

Incredibly unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic

Currently listening to this, as discovered by TekieCid.

Site of the Day

Check out the RIOT Baseball webpage. It gives in-depth calculations of baseball's magic numbers.

A related page is Baseball Prospectus's playoff chances webpage, which calculates for all teams the probability that the team will make the playoffs. It's early in the season for this, though -- the page hasn't been updated since last year's World Series.

Thursday, May 20, 2004


Intelligent design is beginning to gain traction again in scientific circles, Slate claims here. A step in the right direction, at least.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Live Long . . .

Star Trek: Enterprise renewed for a fourth season, according to fan campaign.

UPDATE: Broken link fixed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Baseball Update:

Randy Johnson throws a perfect game!

Sammy Sosa going to DL because of sneeze.


So posting via email creates posts without comments for some reason . . .
Oh, well. It'll work in an emergency.
(hmm. . . A blogging emergency?! What would that entail?)

Testing. . .

I'm testing out the email posting capability of Blogspot here.  On the second try right now.
Today I went with my near-future roommate in order to rent some furniture for our short-term apartment down here in Virginia.  Got some decent deals.  We also bought a used 25" TV, which hopefully I'll be able to get back to Chicago eventually.  We're moving in Thursday.
Java development is going slow -- environment issues are preventing me from checking out the code that I'm supposed to be editing.
Attending a wedding this Saturday.  Going to see Dumpstar open for Anthrax next Friday.  Nothing else concrete right now . . .  Except CORNERSTONE June 29-July 4!
And I bet that this never makes it to my blog.  But, since you're reading this, I must be wrong!

Monday, May 17, 2004

First Post

Alright, let's see how this works out.

Hello, everybody, and welcome to my new blog. Hopefully, I won't let this thing die, as I basically did to my first blog.

Anyways, I ended up with this name/URL after much searching. My first couple attempts to find a decent name were failures:

First Choice
Second Choice
Third Choice
Fourth Choice

So this name should do well, as it also carries personal significance.

Anyways. Hopefully this will allow all of my acquaintances -- school, work, church, other -- to get a better perspective on me, and realize just how paranoid I really am. And to anyone else who happens to stumble upon this, I apologize.

Suggestions are welcome.