Monday, February 21, 2005

An entire week snuck by somehow and I haven't posted anything. Part of the problem has been connection problems. Our service provider keeps coming out and swapping equipment and making other changes, but we continue to have unreliable to non-existent internet access. When it works, it is a beautiful thing. When it works. We seem to have a stable combination of equipment right now, so we will see how it goes.

I won't even try to remember everything that happened over the last week. Nothing spectacular, just a lot of little things. We are starting to get into a routine around here. We will see how things go for the next couple of weeks, but things seem to be somewhat normal.

A lot of reading assignments have built up while I was slacking. I know everyone's life has been incomplete.

First, some geek humor:

Two engineering students meet on campus one day. The first engineer calls out to the other, "Hey -- Nice bike! Where did you get it?"

"Well," replies the other, "I was walking to class the other day when this pretty, young lady rides up on this bike. She jumps off, takes off all of her clothes, and says 'You can have ANYTHING you want!!'"

"Good choice," says the first, "her clothes wouldn't have fit you anyway."
And I am not the only paranoid person. Someone else seems to think that hate-speech legislation is sending our civilization and our churches off the rails.

The money quote:

I also wonder about the future of the church growth movement. They are, for all practical purposes, a business. Do you close the doors of a multi-million dollar business in the name of Christ? I have trouble believing that. The cynic in me says that if hate-speech legislation come to our shores, then we will see a rapid liberalization of the non-denominational mega-churches. I have to say that I think name of Jesus will be buddied up with Brahman, Buddha, and Mohammed in the name of the almighty dollar.

This is already well under way in Europe. I see nothing to stop it from happening here as well.

The news media are all a-buzz with the latest press release stating that the oceans are getting warmer. Jerry Pournelle cuts to the heart of the matter. Real science is about data. Where is the data?

And more Jerry Pournelle; this time on Iraq and Vietnam. I can't decide if people that claim to know more than I do can really be that willfully ignorant, or if it is intentional deception, but once again, Jerry has set things straight without me having to do anything. Every slackers dream.

And speaking of Jerry Pournelle, he just returned from a trip. It seems he tangled with the retards that staff the TSA. I have flown exactly once since 9/11. I will fly once more in March for the cruise celebrating my parents 50th anniversary. The next time I board an airplane will be with a one-way ticket out of the United States. Jerry is right. The TSA is a test. If we bow and scrape to these idiots instead of treating them as mad dogs and putting them down, we deserve what comes next.

Last week, we rented a movie. About half way through, it started skipping and otherwise acting up. I tried cleaning the DVD, but it still wouldn't play past a certain point in the movie. Nestina took it out, completely and thoroughly licked the DVD, dried it, and put it back in. It played perfectly. I asked her if she had thought about how many other people had already done that. She replied that she tries not to think about it. Well, it seems spit really is a good, all-purpose cleaner. I also now know there is more than one reason why I only handle rented DVD's by the edges.

Fred Reed blasts Maureen Dowd. Many people accuse Fred of hating all women. No, he just hates feminists. I would tend to agree with him. I have no idea why any woman would think that being an obnoxious pain in the rear will somehow endear them to a man. Of course if that column doesn't generate some serious hate mail, Fred follows it up with his view of the Larry Summers tempest in a tampon holder. Good thing Fred is in Mexico: I don't think he would live long in the States.

It's official: NASA is now talking about biological processes on Mars. And more talk here. And I really want to know what this is. I know what it looks like it is, but I would like to see more analysis of what it is. Lichen on Mars would be huge.

And more on water in Mar's past.

I haven't had much to say recently about the whole evolution vs. creation debate. I guess in my mind, there really isn't much debate. I can see with my own eyes that the earth is vastly older than 6,000 years. All of modern medicine, including the very drugs that have allowed me to live to the present time, are proof of the interrelatedness of all living organisms. I wish all the Discovery Institute folks would read and take to heart this bit from St. Augustine:

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.

Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

[ italics referred to 1 Timothy 1:7]

(translation is by J. H. Taylor in "Ancient Christian Writers," Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.)

That is just spot on. Humility folks. It's all about humility. "Dr." Kent Hovind; are you listening?

And it is very, very late. I hope to post again before next week.

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