Sunday, June 26, 2005

another one of those Jesus shows

Last night I made dinner and sat down in front of the boob tube, hoping to catch some sports or a Neckcar race or something to watch while eating, as I often do. I happened to come across one of those "examining Jesus" shows that seem to be cropping up with increasing frequency nowadays. Every now and then I'll hear something good about one of these things. You know, whenever they actually do a respectable job of presenting the evidence and arguments on all sides in the discussion. Such doesn't happen but every once in a while. But, I decided to give this one a shot and see what it had to offer.

It was basically a special on Dan Brown's book, "The Da Vinci Code," which all of us have no doubt heard a lot about. The producers basically gave an overview of the book and then proceeded to set up its story as an alternative to Scripture's account of Jesus' life. And they sure made one heck of a pathetic case. I was very disappointed in the kind of "journalism" and "investigation" that went into making this piece. They used stand-alone historical evidence, such as manuscripts of supposedly "rejected" gospels found only in Egypt (but not in any other area occupied by the early church, apparently, as saying so would have bolstered their case) and firsthand accounts from contemporaries in south France, that could not be corroborated by other historical evidence. They also argued for the possibility of some sort of cryptic messages hidden in some of Da Vinci's works.

Are you kidding me? This stuff is on national television and being promoted as a legitimate discussion? One of the biggest no-no's in research of any kind is using evidence that can't be validated or backed up by any other evidence. This is true of any historical account, including that of the Bible. If the Bible were just a bunch of single manuscripts found over the years and thrown together to form some sort of supposedly authoritative book, would it really have much influence of any kind? Would it be widely read by any stretch of meaning? I don't think so either. To set something as well-researched and well-corroborated as the Bible that has stood the test of time and challenges against a tiny amount of evidence thrown in with a generous helping of speculation, and then try to treat the two as equals worthy of the same consideration, is absurd. I'm not saying disregard the entire "alternative" argument without examination--all arguments ought to be judged on their own merit--but you certainly can't give it the same weight as what is clearly a much stronger case with much more supporting evidence. I think the premise of the show was flawed and it was doomed to failure before they started putting it together.

But, if nothing else, it continues to prove how far some people will go to cast doubt and controversy upon Christianity. And I think that's what this is all about. Do you see such hack jobs about Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism on network television? Of course not. And not that you should--any religion deserves serious and honest consideration and ought not be ridiculed and mocked on purpose by any program. But it seems you never have to wait long to see such bunk about Jesus or the Bible.

The bottom line I took away is, anyone who can buy into what was presented last night and actually believe much of the story has absolutely no ground on which to stand and decry Christianity as false and unproven. This reminds me of those staunch athiest evolutionists who lap up a theory that would turn science as we know it on its head and leave so much of the world's formation to statistically impossible odds, and then argue that Christians believe in that which they can't prove and have too much faith in the unknown. Give me a break. I have far more respect for the guy who rejects Christianity but doesn't adhere to any competing claim* than the guy who refuses to accept Christianity on the basis of certain points but swears by an alternate set of beliefs that fails the same criteria. While I would disagree with both, at least the first is consistent. The latter is simply confused or too closed-minded to consider both sides honestly.

*I'm not convinced this is actually possible, as a belief in nothing at all is still a belief in something. If that doesn't makes sense it's because it shouldn't. We all believe in something whether we admit it or not. Kinda like those who make the (absolute) claim that there is no absolute truth. But there are postmodernists who think this way so let's humor them for the sake of demonstration.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

more SCOTUS woes...maybe

Yeah, the Supreme Court sure does suck these days. All up and creating their own legal system and stuff. Seems like they've forgotten to read the Constitution every now and then. You know, just for fun--it's not like they'd actually care what it says. But all we need to do is wait for some vacancies. We can rely on our man Bush to fix things a bit when he gets a chance, right? He'll set them thar Supremes straight with a couple good nominations, won't he?

Well, we can wish. Dubya did give us some good lower court nominees, at least solid enough to draw the ire of Democraps and that's always a good thing. But given how his nominees on Texas' high court have done since getting there, combined with his proven record of playing politics over principle when it comes down to the wire, I haven't been holding out much hope for any Bushites slowing the Court's downhill slide much.

A few weeks ago I read some speculation from a commenter at another site--I think it was Vox Popoli--about how Gonzales would be the next SCOTUS nominee. Wow, that wouldn't suck at all, I thought. But it made sense. He's "in" with the White House, he's hispanic and would continue Bush's absurd quest to pick up votes in that group, and he's plenty moderate enough to avoid a lengthy and ugly Senate confirmation battle. And a hispanic on the Court? Bush must only dream of leaving such a legacy for himself. And since Gonzales isn't conservative enough to offend too many people, he and Bush both could be seen as uniters (for all it's worth, but anyway). But I figured Gonzales was one of several names that could get the nod and it was far too early yet to tell.

Well, maybe it's more than just speculation. William Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Fox News, a big name in conservative political circles, thinks "it is more likely than not to happen." Granted, Gonzales probably would be better than O'Connor, but not by much. He's solid on the war on terror but weak on affirmative action and a wishy-washy conservative in general. And with the Supreme Court in the state it is, we desperately need someone much better in there. Like, say, Janice Rogers Brown. She's got the minority credentials and rock-solid ideology to boot. But I guess Bush isn't up to the hard fight required to get her confirmed. What a shame...I believe Dubya is a politician above all else, but if there was ever a time to stand on principle it would certainly be in choosing the next SCOTUS justice. But, alas, this is America and politicians don't stand on principle 'round these parts.

Thanks to Fraternitas Vitae for the link and for summing this potential scenario up well: "failure due to an unwillingness to fight the good fight."

another reason diet soda sucks

Check out this recent bit from Nate:
26-year study, 1700 patients. At the start of the study patients were either at their ideal weight, or over-weight, but none were obese. Patients that drank diet cokes were 65% more likely to become obese over time than those who did not, and it got worse with each diet coke consumed. The study was performed by the Texas Health Science Center, and was presented at an annual diabetes conference in San Diego last month.

All of this bookends nicely with a recent Purdue study that showed that lab rats consumed much high-calorie food after eating the equivilent of diet coke. See? You know all those fat bastards out there ording a diet coke to wash down their 3 double whoppers with cheese? There could be a reason for that! No no.. I mean in addition to gluttony!
And there you have it. So not only can we continue to make jokes about those people who like to order diet drinks with fast food, but we're actually right. That diet stuff really will kill you!

Friday, June 24, 2005

words of wisdom from the hands of dan

Dan on movies: "Yup. They're cool. Ex[c]ept when they aren't."

Wow...that's so deep. Do you just think of this stuff all day and come up with these or what? :)

what's ours is ours and what's yours is ours

At least that's the way government sees everything. And now our heroes on SCOTUS have backed them up. Unbelieveable. Now I'm no fan of government and I certainly don't hold high expectations for it, but this even caught me by surprise. This must no doubt be one of the worst SCOTUS decisions in our nation's history.

We can all see the writing on the wall. All governments like tax revenue. Property taxes provide a large chunk of that revenue. Taxes are higher for high-priced, developed lots than for Joe Blow's homestead. So which do you think the local powers that be are going to want to see on that land? An older home or some brand spankin' new development? Hmmn...tough decision there for the money grubbers in the government. All they need to do is figure out how to get Joe out of the way.

Used to be that Joe didn't have to give up his land and be forced to go along with what those around him were doing if he didn't want to. It was his land and he could do with it as he pleased so long as he obeyed the law. Only in very rare circumstances could the government force him to sell, if they needed his land to support public infrastructure. But this has been risky business (money for legal challenges, publicity fallout, etc.) for local officials, and it hasn't been tried often. And trying it for the benefit of private citizens or corporations was never a consideration.

But, surprise! In swoops the Supreme Court to rule that not only can the government lay claim to Joe's property, but now private developers can also go after it. (Okay, local governments can go after it on behalf of private developers, but it's the same thing really--money talks.) So Joe--and the rest of us--can forget about any kind of ownership of property. If we don't use what we have "for the greater good" then someone else who promises they will can take it from us. Does that sound right? Does that sound anything like a practice you'd expect to see in a democratic society?

I can't remember a SCOTUS blunder that scared me as much as this one. They have missed badly on affirmative action cases and some relating to the war on terror, but declaring that I can never really own property? Are we living in a socialist country now or what? Thankfully the fallout from this has been huge, so I'm not the only one who smells something wrong here.

And this happens as I'm in the process of trying to buy my first piece of land...such timing.

One of Vox's commenters says: "Now, you guys know how I felt when Canada passed that 'hate' speech bill regarding homosexuals." Very true. That one caught me off guard but I figured it was just those leftist Canadians at work again trying to catch up with mainland Europe. But this recent crap hits a bit closer to home.

UPDATE 2: Lots and lots and lots of blog coverage. Some of my regular reads are here, here, here, and here (with a link to a nice roundup of blog activity about this mess). Captain Ed reminds us that this judicial activism thing isn't new. And you know there's always a silver lining somewhere in there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

did he really say that?

Just gotta throw this up here...
"You know I've got one of those wonderful ideas...women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances."
Besides being the funniest thing I've read in days, that's a bit surprising. Not just the statement itself but that the guy who said it is Bernie Ecclestone, the President and CEO of Formula One. Wow. I mean, it's one thing to say something as an off-hand joke with people you know, or even with people you don't know. It's another to say that to the international press, and then repeat it in an "apology" over the phone to a female driver. And the guy seems to have a history of such comments. He must get drunk before talking to the media or something.

In any case, that sure is some funny $%#&. File that one in the "If I'm Ever Married" folder.

Read all about it at

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

fred on stupid white people

I shouldn't need to say this, but if you haven't read the latest Fred yet then immediately click on the link at the left and get caught up. It's a very good piece on education and why us lazy, spoiled white people are losing out in the real world--as opposed to that sugar-coated, warm and fuzzy world the educrats believe in--to Asians. It's all about how hard you work. It doesn't matter how advanced we are or how far ahead of the rest of the world we think we are. If we don't stick to what got us here in the first place, that is, hard work and dedication, we won't stay here long. It's easy to see that the center of technology in the world is shifting from the western nations to Asia. And since most American kids are stuck in schools that aren't doing jack to prepare them for real life, that trend isn't going to slow down anytime soon.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

news flash: mexico cooperates!

As covered here it seems that Mexico has bothered to arrest (another) criminal and former illegal alien. And this time it's a relatively high-profile case. But one could have guessed that given that the Mexican government actually took some action. But I disagree with Malkin's claim that "the case will bring front and center Mexico's role as a safe haven for illegal alien fugitive criminals." Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of "front and center." Will the legacy media pick up on this because the guy killed a Denver policeman? Nah, they'll just keep ignoring it like they always do when they don't like the potential (correct) conclusions someone might draw about illegal immigrants. As in most cases, it's much easier for the mediacrats to ignore the truth than deal with it.

And here's the catch to that cooperation bit--you knew there was one. They have him but they won't extradite criminals if our consequences could be too harsh. Well, too bad. Someone commits a crime here, they face the consequences here. Same as anywhere.* Geez, is that so hard? And somehow through all of this we're supposed to think Mexico is our friend...whatever. All we get from them are illegal immigrants and a couple of nice vacation spots. Oh, I guess they export criminal activity like murder too. And theft, if stealing jobs counts. Umm...yeay, we love Mexico!

*This brings to memory that case in the 90's about that kid in Singapore who spraypainted some graffiti in the wrong places and got caned for it. Our government was making a big deal of it at the time--hey, it was Billary--but in the end the kid got what he deserved. Good for Singapore, maybe we ought to obey their laws if we don't like their punishment. Same applies here and now.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

whose side are they really on?

An interesting post about how the supposed "left" and "right" are actually moving the country in the same direction. Dunno who this Chuck Baldwin guy is but I like him. I really like that last open question of sorts: will be interesting to see which "conservatives" will defect to the nationalist cause and who will remain in the anti-American globalist camp.
Yup, will be very interesting indeed. Smart money says the nationalist camp is gonna be pretty small.