Thursday, May 26, 2005

just in case the bible's not enough

Here's another reason to not get drunk:
Beer Revealed as Historic Female Plot

Yesterday, scientists suggested that, considering the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer, men should take a concerned look at their beer consumption.

The theory is that beer contains female hormones (hops contain phytoeostrogens) and drinking it makes men turn into women.

To test the theory, 50 men were fed 6 pints of beer each within a one hour period. It was then observed that 100% of the men: talked excessively without making sense; became overly emotional; couldn't drive; failed to think rationally; argued over nothing; had to sit down while urinating; and refused to apologize when obviously wrong.

No further testing was considered necessary.
I also heard on the radio some months back that a similar study showed that, after consuming moderate amounts of beer, men displayed feminine characteristics more frequently. These included rambling incessantly about unimportant and unrelated topics, rearranging furniture in the room for no reason, and going to the bathroom in groups.

So that's two (presumably) independent studies that have confirmed the hypothesis that too much beer makes men act like women. See, folks, that's why you don't get drunk. Well, that and it's sinful. And it shows a complete lack of respect for self and those around you. And...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

nuclear would have been better

Getting late, but there's always time for a quick comment or two about a move as bad as the one a few nutty Republicrats agreed to this week. So three judges get up-or-down votes now. Great, it's better than zero. But nothing certain on the others, and a couple may even be jettisoned? Dems in the Senate get to decide on an individual basis if and when nominees should be filibusted based on the "extreme circumstances" crap? And the loophole that allows the problem in the first place is untouched?

So, I guess a better question would be, what exactly did the Republicans gain from this? Sure, a compromise is nice to see, but they picked a bad issue and a bad set of points to compromise on. Maybe this will all work out for the better; the coming weeks should reveal that. But I don't expect it. But hey, this is Washington we're talking about. Why try to solve a problem when you can just delay the consequences?

The venerable Vox Day makes a good point in suggesting that the deal could serve as a convenient excuse down the road for Republicans to nominate more centrist judges and avoid alienating their much coveted swingsters. would the Republicans turn their backs on conservatives to preserve a few votes in the middle? Nah.

uh, that's not a template, is it?

Check out the following excerpt from this article:
The lottery, which took place in Secaucus, N.J. had all the drama of a botched magic trick. But for the [lottery winner], luck was on Milwaukee's side, represented by general manager Larry Harris.
Heh, kinda cool to see such an obvious screw-up make it into their headline article. And here we thought they had writers slaving away at keyboards 24/7 to bring us all those up-to-the-minute articles...not.

Or maybe so, from the looks of a later paragraph. Or maybe they just get some scrub off the street to fill in a few details at the last minute?
Jeanie Buss, representing the Los Angeles Lakers, who missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1993-94 season, brought a Native American rock from boyfriend Phil Jackson for luck. The Lakers wound up with the 12th selection..
Okay, double punctuation and some overuse of commas. Annoying but it just shows the guy was in a hurry. I can live with that. But the ghost-author claims there that the Lakers ended up with the 12th pick out of 14, while the order given in the preceding paragraph shows the Lakers with the 10th pick. Okay, idiot, which is it? Don't these people even bother to at least glance over what they're putting up before sending it out for the world to read? Geez...if the hacks who write about supposedly important stuff are anything like these ESPN guys, no wonder they can't be expected to get their facts straight.

And people get degrees in journalism so they can put out such garbage? Gimme a break.

UPDATE: He/She/They have already fixed the brackets thing and the double period, but the Lakers are still said to be in two slots at once. Getting there...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

WC 27.3

Studied a bit more of the Westminster Confession earlier tonight and one part sticks with me. In XXVII, 3 (to use what appears to be its standard) it says that the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper should only be dispensed by an ordained minister. This makes sense for baptism, at least for paedobaptist types, but it strikes me as an odd requirement for the Lord's Supper. Not sure why...I guess I've never thought of it in such a context.

The commentary makes a decent supporting argument based on the fact that the Bible makes no mention of sacraments being administered by any other than church leaders and 1 Cor. 4:1 says that "servants [ministers] of Christ" ought to be "entrusted with the secret things of God." So that holds if you include sacraments in the "secret things of God" category. I'm not convinced that works but I'm not sure so I'll take it to be true for now. But, similarly, my quick search revealed no places in the Bible other than the Corinthians verse above that says only ministers may dispense the sacraments. And I would think that if Williamson could have found a better supporting verse for his argument he'd have used it. So as to who can and cannot preside over the sacraments it seems the Bible is silent unless the previous case is assumed.

There's another question that must be answered. Is the WC intended only to govern only churches that are part of a presbyterian denomination, or is it intended to be the church's blueprint for how the kingdom of God on earth ought to be managed? I see some interesting missions implications here in places where there may not be an ordained minister present. Would that mean the leader of the group assumes the role of minister, even though he (or, dare I say it, she) may have little or no formal training, for purposes of administering the sacraments? Or if believers gather together in homes can the Lord's Supper not be properly taken without a minister present to dispense it? Hard to imagine the latter happening much today but I would think it happened more often in NT times.

I guess one answer could be that the WC is an all-or-nothing document. One can't choose parts of it to follow and not others because the chapters build off of and depend upon one another. This makes sense--after all the Bible is this way--but for me it would lead to some tough personal questions. Those parts about baptism and church hierarchy would mean much more in light of the rest of the confession, rather than being stand-alone items I don't fully agree with the WC divines on. But this would also mean that any church not following some of the basic precepts of presbyterianism would be exempt from the rest of the Confession. Not to say the truths in the WC wouldn't apply, but the Confession itself couldn't be used as a standard by or for that church because some parts couldn't be applied to the context of a non-presbyterian church.

In a way this is all a moot point. The WC should follow the Bible, and to the extent that it does the implications are universal. And where it doesn't the Bible has the final say anyway and the WC should not be followed. But it's still interesting to ponder...

fred plug

Been doing some Fred reading tonight and felt the need to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to mention how unbelieveably awesome Fred colums are. He's by far the best columnist out there methinks. Great combination of truth and wit, similar to Vox but much funnier and less abrasive. Yeah, he's far too hedonistic for a Christian to agree with on some points but he's always an interesting read. So if you're bored and want some good short reads, hit the Fred link over there and enjoy.

more on that whole voting thing

Been thinking a bit about voting in this country. The problem is that there are too many dumb people voting who don't have a clue on the issues and/or don't care enough to pay adequate attention to the world around them to make intelligent choices. But is there a way to keep those people from voting without disenfranchising a huge number of deserving voters?

Something that comes to mind is some sort of knowledge test. You know, basic questions like who your governor, two senators, and representative are. But this might not do much since people who vegetate in front of the boob tube for hours each night could get that from the election season ads. So maybe a few more, like having to name any five foreign heads of state. Easy enough but it'd probably stump some, and anyone that out of touch with the world is not someone who ought to be determining the course of America.

But this is still probably too easy and people could just study some newspaper ad or flyer for a few minutes and figure out what they need to know to vote. So it wouldn't accomplish its purpose. Back to the drawing board I guess...what's likely though is that the problem is embedded in the culture and can't be solved quickly and easily by such methods as a literacy test of sorts. Oh well, one can dream aloud right?