Monday, January 31, 2005

A few questions for you Jacko fans

I just want to know a few things about the throng of Michael Jackson fans who greeted him at the courtoom today:

1. It's Monday, presumably during regular business hours. Why are you (A) not at your job or (B) not in school?

2. If (A), how old are you, and are you still living with your parents?

3. If (B), where are your parents?


Any full-grown adult who turned out to cheer on this creep -- or any adult who let their kid cheer on this creep -- oughtta be locked up, too. Sheesh.

Let (Iraqi) freedom ring

Here's something we all need on a Monday:

comparevideo: The Iraqi Elections

Link takes you to a page where you can link to a slideshow of the Iraqi elections set to Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." Get out your hankies.

(Hat tip: Michelle Malkin)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

QotD

"Three cheers for shame and guilt, I say, those often-belittled guides on the road to morality. How can you feel proud of your good acts, if you're not capable of feeling heartily ashamed of the bad?"

-- Laurie Morrow

The truth is out there

During my morning bathtub musings, I thought about Truth. (I probably shouldn't attempt that before my first day's cup of coffee, but bathtubs are highly conducive to musing.)

Truth scares us, doesn't it? Whether it's Galileo's assertion that the Earth is, in fact, not the center of the universe to those pesky little bloggers pooping on Dan Rathers' party, we tend to run from the truth.

As Fox Mulder said, the truth is out there. I don't think he meant that it's just located somewhere, waiting for us to find it. It's OUT THERE. It is not us and we are not the truth. The truth exists whether we like it or not.

I'm getting cranky at this generation's tendency to deny the truth, and I'm not just slamming on the Democrats or Dan Rather. As long as we sidestep truth (and by that, I mean both objective fact and transcendent values), we are essentially trying to be our own gods. We become our own highest moral authority as we try to bend reality (or the perception of it) to meet our own goals. It's bad policy.

Musing over.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Bad theology and the single girl

Note: If you are a non-Christian, this post may not be of interest to you. If you are a Christian -- single or married -- please read on.

A recently divorced cyberpal sent me a "message from God" supposedly written by "St. Anthony" in 1247. If you are or were a Christian single, no doubt you've seen it before. Google it -- it's all over the Web. But because I'm a nice GGB and don't want you to leave my blog just yet, I'll repost it here:


ON, HIS PLAN FOR YOUR MATE

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone ~ to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God, to a Christian, says, "No, not until you are satisfied and fulfilled and content with living loved by me alone, with giving yourself totally, unreservedly to me alone ~ I love you, my child and until you discover that only in me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with another until you are united with me ~ exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you the most thrilling plan existing ~ one that you can't imagine. I want you to have the Best. Please allow me to bring it to you ~ you just have to keep watching me expecting the greatest thing ~ keep experiencing that satisfaction knowing that I am ~ keep learning and listening to the things I tell you...you must wait. Don't be anxious, don't worry, don't look around at the things others have gotten or that I have given them. Don't look at the things you think you want. You just keep looking up to me, or you'll miss what I want to show you. And then, when you're ready ~ I'll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than you would ever dream. You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready...I am working even this minute to have you both ready at the same time...until you are both satisfied exclusively with me, and the life I prepared for you, you won't be able to experience the Love that exemplifies your relationship with me...and this is Perfect Love. And, dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful Love, I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with myself.~~ Know I love you utterly.~~ I am God, Almighty; believe and be satisfied.

St Anthony 1247



Besides the fact that I seriously doubt this was written in the 13th Century by a saint (the only St. Anthony I can find listed in the Catholic Encyclopedia lived in the third century and was the founder of Christian monasticism -- ha!), this is some of the worst tripe I've ever read.

It's a nice idea -- focus on God while you wait for a mate. Don't worry, have faith. All nice. But if you look at what it really says ...

"No, not until you are satisfied and fulfilled and content with living loved by me alone." Oh, OK. I guess I should forget having friends or meaningful relationships with my family members, too, right? And that thing you said in Genesis about man being alone being a bad thing? I guess I should forget that, too.

"You will never be united with another until you are united with me." Um, I thought I was already united with God through Christ. So, now I have to pretend I don't need human relationships to really unite with you? Is that what you're saying, God?

"Don't be anxious, don't worry, don't look around at the things others have gotten or that I have given them." At least that's Biblical.

"I'll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than you would ever dream." This is good news! I'm guaranteed to get a mate ... er, just as long as I get to where I really don't want one, right? In other words, you're obligated to respond to my behavior. Cool.


Sarcasm aside, folks, crap like this has caused untold misery and guilt for lots of single people I know, myself included. (Although by some accounts, it's helped others. Whatever. I don't see how bad theology helps anyone.) It puts people under the burden of thinking that their spiritual development involves somehow eliminating their natural, God-given impulses and desires to have loving relationships with others. It falsely frames true spirituality as some sort of pseudo-nirvana state where earthy love cannot go and should not interfere. It wrongly teaches that earthly gifts are rewards for spiritual progress. Worst of all, it implies that the single and struggling Christian is somehow less righteous because he or she wants a mate -- and that their singless is some sort of indicator that God is holding out of them until they reach critical spiritual mass.

Baloney.

My advice? Actually read the Bible if you want to know what God is saying.

On the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps ...

... members of the Russian parliament pull this crap:

Yahoo! News - Russian Lawmakers Target Jewish Groups

This makes me ill, almost as ill as when paranoids were predicting outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence in the US when The Passion of the Christ was released. Didn't happen, and that's because the locus of anti-Semitism is not here. Look across the Atlantic, folks.

Hat tip: Little Green Footballs

Gotta weigh in

This "prom dress" is causing quite a stir in the blogosphere:

New York Post Online Edition: style

Let me just say: This isn't pretty.

The fashion industry has largely forgotten the fine art of clothing the female body and has crossed the line from sexy to scary. Although, I'll have to give Halle Berry and Catherine Zet Jones high marks for wearing evening gowns that show skin but for some reason don't send you running for the remote.

However, Britney Spears, J-Lo, Christina Aguillera -- all of their best-known outfits displayed but didn't accentuate, revealed but didn't enhance, showed off but didn't show up.

Thumbs down!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I love liberals

Sometimes, I hate being a conservative. Well, I don't really hate being conservative because I think conservatism makes sense, and I like to make sense.

On the other hand, there are the imminently fun, clever and wacky people I associate with, hang out with (and once in a blue moon fall in love with) who are about as different from me politically/religiously as peanut butter is different than wasabi. And I wonder, as I sip my Starbucks in my tie-dyed shirt and Birkenstocks, am I in the wrong tribe?

I once told my mother that if I'd been alive during the '60s, I woulda been an anti-war protester. Okay ... you say those sort of things when you're in college. But I probably would have because while I was in college, I was trying desperately to be a liberal, which is to say I was an idealist trying to embrace what seemed the embodiement of idealism. However, I was trying to be a liberal at a Baptist university, which is not very liberal at all. I might have been liberal for Bob Jones University, but definitely not for Harvard.

So I kept the tie-dye and the Starbucks addiction -- and the idealism -- but realized I just couldn't intellectually embrace liberalism as it is today, nor could I entirely jettison the evangelicalism I was steeped in, although I've traded in Southern Baptist-ness for high-church Anglicanism. Somewhere, idealism had to fit into the real world, which in my view has a few immutable truths that liberalism attempts an end-run on. On the other hand, liberals seem to make most of the best music, films and art, and I'm an artist, so I'm constantly the odd woman out in many of my circles. Good grief, I'm a GOP bellydancer. How many of THOSE do you find on the planet?

I love my lib friends. In fact, it's uncanny how often I'll really dig a person ... then find out they're a lib. Idealistic people are the ones unafraid to try new things because what is possibility for others is glittering reality within the horizons of their own minds. (I'm not sure that sentence entirely made sense.) Therefore, libs, who I find unswervingly idealistic, may break boundaries that make us conservatives uncomfortable, but on the other hand, sometimes the apple cart needs upsetting.

I keep a quiet understanding with my liberal friends that we just won't talk about certain things. In the meanwhile, yes, I'd be happy as a friggin' clam to attend your movie premiere or your cultural festival or your fabu party that includes half the gay population of Birmingham.

Just don't ask me to vote for Hillary -- please.

Liveblogging the inauguration

Note: Hit "Refresh" occasionally to see my latest comments. I will periodically re-publish this post so my latest comments will show up.

11:43 EST: George W. has aged noticably but looks lots better than Jimmy Carter did at the end of his first term.

11:44 EST: God bless Justice Rehnquist! And was it an accident that the prayer included portions of the Pledge of Allegiance, including the Newdow-lawsuited "under God" phrase, hm?

11:45 EST: Uh ... where is Ter-AY-zah?

11:50 EST: What is it they say, comparing the number of words in the Ten Commandments and the Declaration of Independence with the federal guidelines on the sale of cabbage? It's always struck me how elegantly brief the oaths of office are.

11:51 EST: That is an awesome fur coat on the mezzosoprano. (Sorry ... missed her name.) Boy, this is insightful political commentary for ya!

11:57 EST: Mark it, folks. George W. Bush is the prez again.

11:59 EST: Sounds like an enthusiastic crowd as GWB begins his address.

12:00 EST: Years of repose and then the day of fire. "We have seen our vulnerability." GWB is nicely framing the logic for his foreign policy.

Human beings have rights and values because they bear the image of their Maker. GWB invoking the long-forgotten thoughts behind the Declaration of Independence. "Freedom by its nature must be chosen." Excellent.

"The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it."

This is not the strongest job I've seen GWB do on a speech, and he seems to be waiting for applause, but I like the way he is framing the universal appeal of freedom. "No one desires to live under tyranny."

"Americans of all people should never be surprised by the power of dieals. Eventually the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. Liberty will come to thsoe who love it."

"The United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors." Tall order, GWB. Go for it.

"To serve your people, you must learn to trust them." That goes for the US gov't, too.

"Division among free nations is a primary goal of our enemies."

GWB is firing up now. He's feeling the force of his words.

"Life is fragile and evil is real. And courage triumphs." This is one of the most inspiring addresses I've heard since Reagan. GWB is really calling us to something big.

Now we're getting into domestic policy. This is sounding more like a stump speech now. :-\


I thought GWB started out a little canned, but he got fired up talking about the ideals of freedom and how it has universal appeal because all humans are made in the image of the Creator. This is one of the most memorable speeches I can think of since Reagan’s and JKF’s inaugural speeches.

GWB is truly calling the nation to a higher task. This is so much more refreshing than the usual "government is the answer to all our problems" tripe. GWB is talking about universal, timeless principle and individual character and responsibility. Amen.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Geek Girl Brunette?

The GGB is fiddling with her hair color again, and I can no longer say I am a true blonde. According to the box of hair color, I am officially "Navajo Bronze." :)

So, do I change the name of this blog? I report, you decide.

UPDATE: I'm not sure what it says about my blog that a post about my hair color has drawn the highest number of comments. :-)

Reality check

From today's Front Page Magazine:

In England this month, Israel was found by the London Daily Telegraph to be the country least desirable for a vacation, least deserving of respect, one of the least democratic and second to the least safe of all the countries in the world.

Now ... does anyone still think that Prince Harry's "Nazi" stunt was an accident?

Monday, January 17, 2005

QotD

Whenever you hear a group of people start to express an opinion with the words "Hey hey, ho ho...." you know that you're getting ready to listen to a group of idiots saying absolutely nothing.

-- Neal Boortz

This is an anti-anti-PC retaliation/revenge post

A Jersey City, N.J., family of Coptic Christians has been found murdered, and although robbery has been bandied about as the motive, many suspect that the family was targeted by Muslims because Hossam Armanious, the head of the family, had traded angry barbs with Muslims on a Web forum.

I don't have Mr. Armanious' comments in front of me, nor do I have the police reports, but as you can imagine, I have my suspicions along with the rest of the Coptic Christian community. But what struck me is the tortured way an NYC police detective on Fox News (didn't catch his name) just described the possible nature of this "hate crime":

"an anti-Muslim retaliation/revenge killing"

Here's what the NY Post said:

"We have proof of robbery at this point," said a source who labeled everything else as speculative, including concerns that Armanious was killed in bitter revenge for anti-Muslim statements attributed to him in an online forum."

Oh, I see. The crime's root factor was anti-Muslim sentiment, not anti-Christian sentiment. If only Mr. Armanious had played nice-nice, everything would be OK.

I guarantee you if the situation were reversed, you wouldn't hear goofy terms like "anti-Christian retaliation/revenge crime." It would be played as an anti-Muslim hate crime, plain and simple.

Stay tuned, folks. Hossam Armanious could be our Theo Van Gogh.


UPDATE: Some sense from a friend of the slain family:

"This was a terrorist attack," said Amgad Zakhari, 32, a real estate investor who has known the Armanious family since their arrival in the United States. "It was to make an example of Egyptian Christians, to silence them. It has to be a religious motivation."

(Hat tip: Michelle Mallkin)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The bitch is back

I'm really not a bitch.

Of course, this is the forum where I bitch to the world, so maybe it's appropriate.

It's just one of those nights when I'm channeling in-your-face Elton John lyrics like, "You almost had your hooks in me, didn't ya dear?" and "I'm still standin'! Yeah, yeah, yeah!"

If you know me at all, you know what I'm talking about.

Annyyyywaaayyy ...

What to bitch about ... how about
Michael Newdow's effort to ban prayer from the inauguration? (I've always thought that this guy was the atheist version of Judge Roy Moore.)

My problem with the whole PDR (public display of religion) thing is people on both sides give PDR way too much credit. They think PDR is going to unleash an uncontrollable wave of religious fervor -- Michael Newdow's worst nightmare and Roy Moore's fondest dream.

It doesn't work that way, folks. Jesus said as much. So, let's recognize PDR for what it is -- at best a general, ceremonial, nicey-nice public acknowledgement of some higher power.

So, Mr. Newdow, you can relax. As long as that's all the "religion" your children ever get, they will be quite safe from any real chance of conversion.


UPDATE: We apparently had some weird font issues. Hope you guys can read everything now. :)