April 2008 Archives

Builder, Strong

| No Comments

A new edition to the family:

100_0317.jpg

7 lbs. 4 oz. 20"

Sexual abuse victims describe frank meeting with pope - CNN.com:

"But McDaid said he came away from the meeting feeling that there was real hope that this time the problem would be addressed, with action to follow."

(Via CNN.)

I pray to God it does.

Apple Just Makes Better PC's Period

| No Comments

Mac vs PC - Benchmark and Speed Tests - PC versus Mac - Apple, Windows Reviews - Popular Mechanics:

"The Verdict: Apple Mac: In both the laptop and desktop showdowns, Apple’s computers were the winners. Oddly, the big difference didn’t come in our user ratings, where we expected the famously friendly Mac interface to shine. Our respondents liked the look and feel of both operating systems but had a slight preference toward OS X. In our speed trials, however, Leopard OS trounced Vista in all-important tasks such as boot-up, shutdown and program-launch times. We even tested Vista on the Macs using Apple’s platform-switching Boot Camp software—and found that both Apple computers ran Vista faster than our PCs did. "

(Via Popular Mechanics.)

Abuse Victims Not Placated by Pope - New York Times:

"At a news conference in Boston organized by a victims’ group, Mr. Costello, who said he was abused by a priest in West Roxbury, Mass., starting when he was 10, said he was shocked that the pope would talk about his own suffering and that of the church while making no mention of the harm done to victims."

(Via NY Times.)

This is what started the problem in the first place. The concern for the institution of the church, consisting of the clergy mostly, is the top concern. I'm sure that there are legal and fiscal reasons as well for his lack of empathy, but it also reveals how screwed up the priorities are in "the Church." It's shocking that still they violate Jesus' edicts so glibly and frankly, so arrogantly. But my Church has not spared any effort in trying to shake my faith. This but the latest example. How they can demand faith in them is beyond me.

Using Back to My Mac… to Catch a Thief! — RoughlyDrafted Magazine:

"After a burglar broke into her truck and stole her iPhone and MacBook, a woman in Santa Cruz teamed up with a friend to use Mac OS X Leopard’s ‘Back to My Mac’ screen sharing feature to track and identify the thief for the police."

(Via RoughlyDrafted Magazine.)

Amazing.

That Old Time Capitalism

| No Comments

I began reading John C. Bogle's The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism tonight. So far, it's an interesting read. Here is a memorable quote (so far) rich with irony in today's world:

My vantage point is that of an American businessman (and a lifelong Republican) who has spent his entire half-century-plus career in the financial field...For better or worse, my youthful idealism–the belief that any truly sound business endeavor must be built on a strong moral foundation–still remains today, at least as strong as it was all those years ago.

By the latter years of the twentieth century, our business values had eroded to a remarkable extent. Yes, we are a nation of prodigious energy, marvelous entrepreneurship, brilliant technology, creativity beyond imagination, and, at least in some corners of the business world, the idealism to make our nation and our world a better place. But I also see far too much greed, egoism, materialism, and waste to please my critical eye. I see an economy overly focused on the "haves" and not focused enough on the "have-nots," failing to allocate our nation's resources where they are most needed–to solve the problems of poverty and to provide quality education for all. I see a shocking misuse of the world's natural resources, as if they were ours to waste rather than ours to preserve as a sacred trust for future generations, and I see a political system corrupted by the staggering infusion of money that is, to be blunt about it, rarely given by disinterested citizens who expect no return on their investment.

Wow. Small wonder why he isn't all that popular with today's so-called conservatives.

Print Story: Barack Obama's counterpunching style on Yahoo! News:

"'She's running around talking about how this is an insult to sportsmen, how she values the Second Amendment, she's talking like she's Annie Oakley!’ he said at a stop in Pennsylvania. ‘Hillary Clinton's out there like she's on the duck blind every Sunday, she's packin' a six shooter! C'mon! She knows better. That's some politics being played by Hillary Clinton. I want to see that picture of her out there in the duck blinds.’"

(Via Yahoo! News.)

Obama is a tough cookie!

Most of the articles I've read in the media put Barack on the defensive. Watching the video, I don't get a sense of defensiveness although his opponents will twist his words. Word twisting is part and parcel of a campaign. But the reports I've read don't seem to portray Obama's demeanor at all.

Powell Has Praise for Obama

| No Comments

Powell Has Praise for Obama - New York Times:

"‘I thought that Senator Obama handled the issue well,’ Mr. Powell told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’ ‘He didn’t abandon the minister that brought him closer to his faith, but at the same time he deplored the kinds of statements that the Reverend Wright had made.’"

(Via NY Times.)

I wonder with the hit job on Rev. Wright and his church, if Powell's statement will have an effect.

Rigging Justice

| No Comments

Cheney, others OK'd harsh interrogations - Yahoo! News:

"Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned. The officials also took care to insulate President Bush from a series of meetings where CIA interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning, were discussed and ultimately approved."

(Via Yahoo! News.)

I actually saw this on The West Wing. General would fall on his sword if Bartlett's assassination of a terrorist is found out. Great drama, but highly disturbing in real life. It's always easy to go along when they aren't coming for you. That's why we have to stand up against torture regardless of whose the target. Even if you have no morals whatsoever the poem First they came... provides good enough reason to do so. Ashcroft's quote at the end of the story is great.

"Why are we talking about this in the White House?" the network quoted Ashcroft as saying during one meeting. "History will not judge this kindly."

More than Moving the Goalpost

| No Comments

Political Punch:

"In Eugene, Ore., Saturday. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., attempted to change the measure by which anyone might assess who criticized the Iraq war first, her or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., by saying those keeping records should start in January 2005, when Obama joined the Senate. (A measure that conveniently avoids her October 2002 vote to authorize use of force against Iraq at a time that Obama was speaking out against the war.) She claimed that using that measure, she criticized the war in Iraq before Obama did.

But Clinton's claim was false."

(Via Political Punch.)

Is it me or is Hillary turning into George Bush in Democrat drag? This isn't even a clever misleading lie half-truth. It's an easy fact check call. Wow. Talk about looking desperate.

King was a Genius

| No Comments

King was a flawed and human man, but a genius of love by living and speaking it in public. Just looking a few quotes, reminds one of that. What a terrible loss we suffered on April 4, 1968.

Faith based Politics

| No Comments

Today, I learned an important lesson: faith is a great ally and great threat in politics. When discussing a recent article on the Internet titled, "How to Disagree," with some friends, I took the opportunity to correct past mistakes at being ineffective, intemperate, or just plain disagreeable when discussing contentious topics. I decided to revisit a particular discussion on homosexuality and examine the mechanics of the back and forth. I wanted to highlight my reasoning, how I was trying to make a point, and so on, to show that I was refuting (and this is important) logical claims by providing evidence that supported my refutation.

I received a couple of responses that greatly frustrated me at first. Technically speaking, my friends had simply restated a contradiction to a point I had painstakingly proven with biblical evidence, evidence that I found incontrovertible. It was right there in black and white, after all. Yet, here they were simply restating the opposite! My ego was stung and information not conforming to my worldview was imposed on me and like most human beings, anger was the predictable first and thankfully internal response. Aren't they listening?!? Don't they respect me?!? Are they boneheaded??! And so on. To be clear and concise consider this conversation:

What is the wavelength of blue light?

550 nanometers.

What is the wavelength of light scattered from the sky on a sunny day?

550 nanometers.

What is the color of the sky?

Green.

It hadn't yet occurred to me that they were simply confessing faith. Confessing one's faith comes in many different forms and is often disguised, as it was in this situation. Faith is also emotional and deeply multivalent in one's life. It doesn't fit in a nice neat box. It is often ineffable and a reflection of the person who has it rather than a reflection of some abstract or objective reality.

Heavy Troop Deployments Are Called Major Risk - washingtonpost.com:

"Senior Army and Marine Corps leaders said yesterday that the increase of more than 30,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has put unsustainable levels of stress on U.S. ground forces and has put their readiness to fight other conflicts at the lowest level in years."

(Via The Washington Post.)

What are you left with when you kill the goose to get more and more of those golden eggs?

AlterNet: The Top 10 Myths Keeping Hillary in the Race:

"Myth: Well, I say they are disenfranchised, and Hillary Clinton is their champion.

Only when it suits her. Last fall, when the decision was first made to flush 100% of Michigan and Florida delegates, Clinton firmly ratified it."

(Via AlterNet.org.)

Usually, I'm not a fan of AlterNet's writers. So liberal, they lose touch with reality a bit too often for my taste, but this piece was amusing with a good ol' fashioned sprinkling of—gasp!—facts thrown in!