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Showing posts from April, 2004

Junk food stamps

Minnesota Seeks Ban on Junk Food Stamps
Why is this a big deal? The government has every right to determine what funds it supplies can and can not be spent on.

"Angel Buechner, a working mother of four boys, says junk food is a bad buy for people who use food stamps like her family, but she doesn't believe the federal government has the right to prevent her from buying something special for her sons."

If junk food is that important to you buy it with money from your own pocket. Food stamps are to keep people from going hungry not to buy special treats. The government has a vested interest in seeing that as many people as it has influence over eat mostly healthy food. Lower bills now and lower medical bills in the future.

Family politics

My maternal grandmother died on Wednesday night. She was 82 and had been very ill for several years. We had been expecting her death for at least a year now so I'm not too traumatized by it. But like any good West Indian family there is lots of drama surrounding my grandmother's death. I would like to say that grief is making people say and do dumb things but I would be lying. My parents and one of my sisters leave for Barbados on Monday to referee the ensuing madness. I wish I could go as well but we've got too many doctor's appointments this week and not enough money for plane tickets. Ah well, it's for the best since I won't be tempted to saying anything mean and nasty to any misbehaving relatives if I'm not there.

What was that about oil?

The enemy is not America
By Pamela Bone
Illustration:John Spooner

I am sent a newsletter from a women's rights group in Pakistan, which lists items from Pakistani newspapers. The following is a recent selection (I checked the items on the newspapers' websites):

Lahore: A girl, Kauser, 17, was strangled by her elder brother because she had married of her own will. She returned home and asked her family to forgive her but her brother strangled her with a piece of cloth. - The Daily Times.

Ghotki district: Two women were killed over Karo-Kari (honour killing). One Nihar Jatoi tied his wife to a bed and electrocuted her. One Bachal axed his wife Salma to death and fled. No arrests were reported. - The News.

Sargodha: A woman is in hospital after having both legs amputated because of severe injuries inflicted by her brother-in-law and mother-in-law, who clubbed her for her alleged illicit affairs. The woman, who was fighting for life, said the real reason was that her brother-in-la…

Published

Parableman has a book review published in the upcoming issue of the journal Faith and Philosophy. He came home with his two complimentary copies last night. "It's only four pages," he says but I saw how much work went into those four pages (he's such a perfectionist). He has a link to the full text of the review here.

The Battle of Britain

I'm currently watching the 1969 film Battle of Britain. I keep waiting for the American pilots to show up and help kick some German Luftwaffe butt over London. The movie chronicles the events in Britain staring in 1940. Just to be sure about the ideas that were coming into my head I asked pookieParableman for the exact year that the US entered WWII and some details about what Nazi Germany was up to prior to that. Imagine my surprise to hear that the US let Europe burn for so long before we finally hauled our butts into the conflict! No wonder they're still pissed! This isn't some anti-American screed I'm about to take off on. I am genuinely surprised that the US would let so much carnage go on for so long right under their noses. Being the one that the class bullies always picked on while others stood by and did nothing I am rather sensitive to these kinds of things.

On another note. My first observation about the film was that the characters in the movie seem…

No rosaries allowed

Jim at Dappled Things doesn't have a comments feature on his blog so I'll have to comment on this here.

No Rosaries Allowed During Mass -- A lady from the parish was telling me tonight about one of her neighbors who, although she is Catholic, had started going to a Baptist church. Everything was fine until they told her (a) that she'd have to get rebaptized by full immersion and (b) that she'd have to stop saying her rosary during the services. She didn't like the first part, but it was the second part that was the straw that broke the camel's back. There's something delightful about imagining that fallen-away Catholic bringing her rosary beads to say during the Baptist "Mass" -- I guess she wasn't so fallen-away after all.That is just so wrong! What is up with this obession with being dunked? I chose to be dunked when I made my public profession of faith as a kid because that was the way we did things at the church my family went to at the …

No Sunshine

I found this poem over at Modular Parrrot. I think it describes well how bummed I feel everytime the sun goes behind a cloud (or everytime I think about taxes). During my first year in Syracuse (oh so long ago) I deduced the real reason that the Syracuse University mascot is an orange. It's because the sun so rarely comes out during the seemingly never ending winter that people need a reminder of what it looks like. I have no explanation for anything else that goes on in this state though. April 14, 2004

I'm tired.
Tried of the long winter without sunshine.
Tired of the 20th year of a late NYS budget and no sunshine.
Tired of legislators that award themselves with a 14 day vacation while the icebergs are floating around and no sunshine.
Tired of hearing about a group of union teachers, after winning a $10B court suit to increase state aid, demand that the state(read you and I) pay them now and no sunshine.
Tired of having a state government that can't be changed due t…

I'm back.

The weather's gone ugly again so I'm back indoors cuddling up to the computer for warmth and distraction from the dreary scene outside.

PBS is doing a series called America's Evangelicals. According to Army of One it's not the hack job that one would expect. Cool.

JD of Army of One has also been conducting interviews with bloggers from The Blogdom of God. The latest is an interview with La Shawn Barber. Good stuff.

Them's fightin' words

”Selling Out” Liberalism’s Soul: Slavery Metaphors and the Political Left
"...while I don’t believe that racism is indicative of the political Left, I do find that some liberals have become afflicted with a tourette's-like reflex that causes them to resort to slavery-era metaphors, particularly the charge of Uncle Tomism.

What is most shocking about the use of these terms and images is the relatively nonchalant manner in which they are bandied about. The unstated premise is that they are simply stating a fact rather than tossing out a scurrilous epitaph. While its use by someone from the Right would be immediately construed as racially motivated, the same does not hold when the slur comes from the Left."

The comments are rather interesting as well. I've already been called "a rotten liar". Don't you just love intelligent debate with the opposition?

Christians contend over Easter

Ambra at Nykola.com has a few words to say about Easter. She’s also invited a guest blogger to throw in his two cents on the subject. The main thrust of the two posts is that Christians should abandon their celebrations of Easter because of the holiday’s pagan origins.

The argument might hold true if what churches did on Easter Sunday was celebrate the pagan goddess that pagans worshiped. But for as long as I have lived, and as long as my parents have lived, and as long as their parents have lived Christians have celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter not a pagan goddess.

Part of the argument against Easter is that is began as an integration of Persian and Germanic celebrations honoring a spring goddess. But, just as contact with the Persian culture influenced the Germanic culture so contact with Christian culture changed every culture it came into contact with. It is significant that we celebrate Easter according to the Jewish calendar. This is a clear indication…

Black Heritage

As the debate continues over on Parableman’s blog over that racist Condi Rice poster I’ve been contemplating a few things. One of them is the claim that the descendants of Africans brought to the Americas as slaves have been stripped of their heritage. Time and again I have encountered the idea that today’s blacks have been somehow lessened because they can’t trace their family trees even as far as the slave ships their ancestors were dragged off of.

Some intrepid soul in my husband’s family traced their family tree all the way back to the May Flower. They also traced the family roots to some nobleman from North Umbria who left England and changed his name upon arrival in the colonies. There are various versions of the family name scattered through out the cemeteries of small towns of my husband’s home state dating back to the 1700s and 1600s. He has ancestors among the founding fathers of many of these towns.

I on the other hand can only get as far back as two or three generations…

"The greatest 'casualty call' in history."

Joe at Evangelical Outpost reflects on his new role as a Casualty Assistance Calls Officer informing families of fallen Marines of their loss. It made me all teary eyed but I managed to keep it together long enough to finish reading the whole thing.
Casualty Call: A Marine's Reflections on Good Friday
When a Marine is killed or seriously wounded, the duty of notifying the next of kin falls upon the Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO). Normally the tasks of the CACO team (comprised of a senior NCO, a commissioned officer, and a chaplain) are carried out by the same people. But the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have increased the need for more CACO teams and so I’ve been added to the roster of those assigned the morbid duty. Since my unit is one of the few active duty commands in the state, we’ve been assigned a large swath of Texas and are responsible for notifications over an area that spans hundreds of miles. Normally a command can expect to make “casualty calls” a year;…

Wal-Mart Wars

Found this post about the trouble Wal-Mart faces when trying to establish businesses in black communities. The Mulatto Advocate calls it, What was that I drank? Thanks to La Shawn for the link.
It's not like anyone else was falling over themselves in a rush to build there. Let's face facts. Businesses avoid black neighborhoods like the plague. Harsh statement? You bet. A little self examination might tell you why. Ask yourself why anyone would want to give you anything after the temper tantrums you threw in 1965 and 1992.

Wal-Mart said, "We trust you". Please don't be deluded, of course they want to make a buck; but the relationship is not a parasitic one. Wal-Mart would have made money from the community, but it also would have put money into the community in terms of sales tax dollars and wages. Would Wal-Mart have put some small businesses under? Maybe. The area where the store would have gone is not exactly rich in retail development, so it's doubtful t…

Checking out the Rice testimony

I've been watching Condoleezza Rice testify before the September 11th Commission on C-SPAN all morning (the kids have been playing nicely with each other so I haven't missed much). At times I've found my heart pounding as this classy lady fends off the hostile questions of some of the members of the commission. I think she's doing well so far. We'll see how the rest of this unfolds and what the talking heads say about it afterwards.

Update at 11:16 AM EDT:Instapundit had this link to the script of responses to Dr. Rice's testimony posted at 7:24 AM (EDT I think). It's interesting that the Democrats on the commission seem so hostile in their questioning. They seem to be the ones that she most often has to fight with to finish answering the questions they ask her.

Parableman is commenting on Bob Kerrey's performance during Dr. Rice's testimony. I think he's been the worst of the lot so far.

Update 11:47 AM EDT: "I don't believe in b…

Christian Carnival XII Plug

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Provide the following:

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Saturday Stuff

It's Saturday, yea! I got to sleep in this morning, mostly because the kids were up late at a friend's house last night, so I didn't crawl out of bed until 8:20 AM. Been working on taxes all morning. I'm almost done. Now I'm taking a break so I don't go mad. I'm really lovin' those "tax cuts for the rich" that John Kerry (and other Democrats) keeps going on about. Who knew I was so rich? Keep your mits off of my "tax cut for the rich" Mr. Kerry. I wish New York state would pass some tax cuts for all of us working class "rich" people. At least I don't live in New York City any more though. They really squeeze every penny they can get out of come tax time down there.

Parableman's got an interesting discussion going at an old post on his blog. Some folks have apparently taken offense at his characterization of this portrayal of Condi Rice as racist.

Favourite comments:"Your comments in point 5 tell me …

Can you be a Christian and a ...

Okay, so I've heard the question, "Can a Christian be a [insert political affiliation of choice]?" or some variation of it for the umpteenth time. And for the umpteenth time I have wanted to reach through the computer screen and attempt to do physical harm to the individual posing the question. I find so many things wrong with questions like this that I'm not sure where to begin.

First, let me say that I am a registered Republican. I voted Republican in the last presidential election and I intend to do so in the upcoming election. I am not so foolish as to believe that because I am a Christian and I vote Republican that all real Christians should also vote Republican. That's the first problem that I have with the question above. It assumes that all Christians should vote for one party or another.

There are some basic fundamentals that all Christians share. Political affiliation is not one of them. I find it rather insulting to reduce the validity of faith t…