Monthly Archives: October 2008

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put down your coffee cup...

So, Sarah Palin's advisors decide that it is time for her to meet a bunch of serious world leaders. They head to Europe, where, first up, she has an appointment with the Pope. The Pope and some of his Cardinals invite her for a boat ride on the Tiber. As they are sitting in the gondola talking, a wind starts up and blows the Pope's hat into the water. Palin looks around and realizes that no one is going to do anything about it, so she calmy rises, takes off her her high heels, and steps off the side of the boat. Instead of diving into the water, however, she walks across it, to the hat, picks it up and walks back across the water to the boat. She climbs in, hands the Pope his hat and continues discussing whatever it was they had been talking about. The Cardinals are open mouthed in astonishment at what they have just seen. The news media, in nearby boats are busy discussing among themselves how to report it. Headlines the next day at the New York Times, The Washington Post and the networks all blare: New Revelation: Sarah Palin Can't Swim.

HT:  No Fighting, No Biting

cAs usual, the extremes are where the problem lies.

On one hand, the link of centering prayer to the meditations of Easthern religions might be seen as a bad thing.  One another hand, even the most vile untruths may contain a kernel of something we can use.  The danger is in trying to sort it out.

A long time ago I bought a book, "Becoming Fire" by Jeanie Miley.  I disagree with a lot of what Miley teaches...but this book was very helpful to me at a critical part of my life.

Looking at definitions:

contemplate: To consider carefully and at length; meditate on or ponder: contemplated the problem from all sides; contemplated the mystery of God.

Meditate: To engage in devotional contemplation, especially prayer.

And I'm reminded of this passage

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phil 4:8)

Anyway...back to the book.  Miley takes several Scripture passages about the life of Christ and turns them into devotional meditations...she asks the reader to look at the passages from the viewpoints of different people within the passage; to put oneself in those shoes.

Then, read the passage...again.  and again.  And then spend 20 minutes going over the passage in your head...just you and Scripture.

Does that sound like a bad thing?

What happens when the people paying most of the taxes are not paying enough to cover the direct tax credits that are promised to the people who even now are paying little or nothing?

What will happen when the 40% of the people who pay 95% of income taxes can no longer pay for the checks that the feds (under Obama) will be sending those of the 40% of the people who currently pay ZERO taxes, who will be getting the direct tax credits (not deductions) under Obama's plan?

What will happen when the 5% who pay 60% of the taxes cannot cover Obama's new spending?

I've only really read about Obama/Wright(or Ayers) and McCain/Keating.

The Obama case is about what Obama believes.  Wright and Ayers are both radical leftists in their politics.  If sharing a belief in radical leftist political figures is an indication of one's own political leanings, it is very relevant.   If the experience with Wright helped shape Obama's political ideology, why would we not take that into account?

On the other hand, McCain/Keating is also very relevant - it is about what McCain has done.  The question I ask is "What did you learn and how have you changed?"  In the case of McCain, it was his dealings with Keating that was the trigger for his strong political beliefs and actions on campaign finance reform and governmental deregulation.  He (in an article I read not too long ago) said that he did nothing wrong(illegal), but that brush with Keating was a "light bulb moment" (my term).  In that moment, his ideology was formed.  If the experience with Keating helped to shape McCain's political ideology, why would we not take that into account?

The difference between Obama and McCain?  Obama says, "that's not the guy I knew" (as if he could sit in the guy's church for 20 years and not know...AND write about the political beliefs of Wright and not know about them).

McCain says, "it looked wrong, I should not have done it and because of my experience I'm going to work toward fixing the system.

It's not about "GBA".  It's about what formed the political ideologies, how close are the ideologies of the student to the ideologies of the mentor (which is how Obama has described Wright).

It is about "what have you learned and how have you changed?"

McCain has told us and shown us.  If Obama sat in Wright's church for 20 years and cannot tell us what he has learned and how it has changed him...that says volumes about Obama.

Yes.  I believe that Barack Obama's connection with William Ayers matters.  It matters a lot.

Yes, William Ayers was a member of a radical domestic terrorist group who bombed a number of buildings.  Yes, he is unrepentant.  Yes, Obama had to have known about Ayer's history. it really the connection between terrorism and Obama that is important (or even real?)  Not really.

Obama's connections to radical leftists of all sorts of flavors is the concern, whether or not they were "terrorists".

Barack Obama's list of radical, liberal associates is varied:

  • Jerehiah (God damn America) Wright
  • William Ayers
  • the "New Party"

When one choose to have associations with radical left-wing people or groups, it is generally because one has idealogical commanalities.  The more you have in common with leftist idealogies, the more associations you have.

Ultimately, as with most elections, I think that the election will fall - not necessarily to Obama or McCain - but to the party that is liberal or conservative.

We tend to look beyond the problems with  "our" candidate - if we are relatively sure that the candidate will stick to the party line.

When looking at McCain, we ask, "what party line will McCain stick most closely to?

When looking at Obama, we can also ask, "what party line will Obama stick most closely to?" This is where his radical associations are most important, because they give the best clue into his idealogy.

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This is funny...I can tell when history classes have a research paper due. How?

Google searches. One of the research papers I wrote that I had the most fun with was: Compare and contrast Martin Luther and Henry VIII. I put a few of my papers online and this one is there also. That is by far the most popular search that brings people to this blog.

Of the top 5 google searches on my sitemeter page, 4 of them are looking for...yep. And they're not in the same place.  The cities:

  • Dallas, Texas
  • Tallahassee, Florida
  • Staten Island, New York
  • Van Buren, Arkansas

And I just thought my professor was being inventive...

So...if you're googling for information...please don't plagerize; give credit where credit is due...and enjoy history.

I started October 2 pounds lighter than I started September.

My first bike ride was August 17 and 10 miles was a hard ride.

Since then

  • 45-50 miles is an average weekend ride
  • My longest ride was 65 miles
  • I rode 344.99 miles in the month of September.
  • I burned 12,485 calories riding my bike

After being sick for a week, I rode today (22 miles) and it was the worst average speed in a while.  I have a lot of work to do in two weeks (I'm still planning a ride to Big Rapids and back).