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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

An Exercise In Hypocrisy

I really didn't intend on saying anything else about the Michael Vick situation, but then I read TMQ on ESPN.com. The money quote:

Thousands of animals are mistreated or killed in the United States every day without the killers so much as being criticized, let alone imprisoned. Ranchers and farmers kill stock animals or horses that are sick or injured. Some ranchers kill stock animals as gently as possible, others callously; in either case, prosecution is nearly unheard of. As Derek Jackson pointed out last week in the Boston Globe, greyhound tracks routinely race dogs to exhaustion and injury, then kill the losers, or simply eliminate less-strong pups: "184,604 greyhound puppies judged to be inferior for racing" were killed, legally, in the past 20 years.

Hunters shoot animals for sport. They do so lawfully, while the manner in which Vick harmed his dogs was unlawful. But from the perspective of the animal, there seems little difference between a hunter with a state game license zipped in his vest pocket shooting a deer as part of something the hunter views as really fun sport, and Vick shooting a dog as part of something Vick views as really fun sport. In both cases, animals suffer for human entertainment. The animal-ethics distinction between Vick's actions and lawful game hunting are murky at best. A first-time offender should go to prison over a murky distinction?

Couldn't have put it better myself.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 6:04 PM :: (0) minds freed

Monday, August 27, 2007


I had a full-throated rant ready to spew today regarding the asinine amount of attention paid to the Michael Vick case, but I ran across Jemele Hill's article on ESPN.com's Page 2 that said it much better (and infinitely more PC) than the invective-laden screed that I had brewing. Please read her article.

And then think about it...

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 6:35 PM :: (0) minds freed

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Comics

In Our Own Image
Infinite Ineptitude
Time Bandits
Credibility Crunch
Free Trade
Blood Debt
Optimus Sub-Prime
Primier of Dumbfuckistan...
...And His Subjects
Carnal-Minded Man
Master Bait-And-Switcher
Pound Puppy
Over/Under 18 Months
The OJ Treatment
Say Cheese
Peer Pressure
Pro Life
Big Brother
Big Pimpin'

And my favorite for today: Fellow Americans

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:30 AM :: (1) minds freed

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Already, But Not Yet

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Luke 4:14-21
Sometimes, the most important thing is that which is missing. When you tell your significant other that you love them and all that you hear in reply is abject silence, that which is missing is more telling than anything that they could possibly say. Jesus, in reading this passage from Isaiah 61, read a messianic prophesy about Himself, but the telling thing about the reading is where He stopped - He stopped mid-sentence, in the middle of verse 2. Why would Jesus stop in the middle of a sentence like that? The answer is simple, yet profound in its implications for our Christian journey - the Kingdom of God was manifest with Jesus' entry into the world, but it will not be fully consummated until His return. His Kingdom is already here, but it is not yet fulfilled.

There is tension between the Already and the Not Yet, and we see this tension in many ways, every day. We witness the movement and power of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis, but we also see gross injustices going unpunished. We see God saving, healing, and delivering people from certain destruction, but we also see people cursing God and living well. We readily see the Already but we also understand the Not Yet, and this is why we earnestly yearn for Jesus' return - we want His Kingdom to come into effect in full. It is like beginning a race when all of your opponents have been disqualified - you are already assured of victory but you have not yet completed the race. It is much like the prototypical engagement period - you have the assurance of a life-long commitment but you have not yet consummated the relationship (n.b. failure to achieve the former often being connected to a failure to live up to the latter). We already have the assurance of our salvation through the in-dwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, but we have not yet been glorified in the fullness of the Kingdom of God. We praise God for the Already but we sit on tiptoe anticipation for the Not Yet.

Patience is a virtue.

I don't know about you, but I hate to wait for that which is already mine - nothing irritates me more than waiting for my food in a restaurant, waiting in rush hour traffic to get home, or waiting for a certain Texan to leave office - but Jesus said that no man knows the day nor the hour of His return, so we have no choice but to wait for Him to return and establish His kingdom in full here on Earth. It is already established, but it is not yet completed.

Are you ready for the Not Yet to become the Already?

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who has already prepared a place for us,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 10:23 AM :: (0) minds freed

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Comics

Liberal Policy
Sinking Ship of State
Root Cause Analysis
The Uniter
Privatized Accounts
Adjustable Mortgage
Big Pimpin'
Mission Accomplished
Culture of Victimization
Wall Street Post
Nothing Changes
Decision 2012
Spoiled Brat
Robber Barons
Turd Blossom
Road Toll
Bearly Affordable
Governmental Minimalists

And my favorite for today: Generational Curse

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 12:00 PM :: (0) minds freed

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Screwed-Up Intel

There I was, minding my own business, going through my daily routine of reading through the blogs after I get home from work and get comfortable, when I come across a piece written by StevenD over on Booman Tribune. Apparently, Intel - the chip maker that powers many if not most PCs, has lost its mind. They actually published the following ad:

I am hard-pressed to offer further commentary without digging deep into my alternative vocabulary, so let me just say this: I will never again buy anything with an Intel chip inside it.


Please do read Steven D's post.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 6:55 PM :: (2) minds freed

Monday, August 13, 2007

Men of Honor

Considering all of the things that the United States imports from China, it would be good for the US to add one more thing to that list: a sense of honor. It turns out that the CEO of the Chinese company that exported contaminated toys to the US has committed suicide from the shame of his negligence. Apparently, it is common for disgraced officials to commit suicide in China. Can you imagine the ramifications if Asian honor was observed over here?
Maybe then some of these CEOs could justify their obscene salaries...

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 8:30 PM :: (0) minds freed

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ain't No Future In Yo' Frontin'

It is amazing to me just how many people try to fake it 'til they make it. As I was watching the Democratic Debate that was sponsored by the AFL-CIO this week, John Edwards consistently talked about how many picket lines he had marched during the last two years. It got to the point where Joe Biden had to call him out on the carpet, asking him indirectly where John Edwards was when he was a senator from a Right-To-Work-For-Less state - where was John Edwards when publicly and vocally supporting Labor would have cost him dearly? There are a lot of people who talk a good game, and some who can walk well when there's no pressure on them, but where do we stand when it really matters? Where do we stand when our own money is on the line? Where do we stand when it's time to put up or shut up?

The seven sons of Sceva got caught faking the funk. They thought that their little side show - a profitable show in their day and ours - could ride into town and get paid, but as Steve Martin's character noted in the movie Leap of Faith, the biggest threat to a hustle is the genuine article, and the seven sons of Sceva ran into a genuine demon. One of the most telling statements that one can make is, "I almost lost my religion!" Religious people tend to get beat down by demons, but those of us who have a personal relationship with our Savior can walk in power, we can speak with authority, and we can make a difference for the Kingdom of God. Too often church folk try to put on a show for people to see just how righteous they are, but when we come face-to-face with a demon we will quickly learn that whatever is in us will truly come out of us. If we are walking with the Savior then He will stand up within us and exude His power on our behalf, but if we have nothing but religious pretense then we will find ourselves running bloodied and spiritually naked from a fight that we couldn't win.

Ain't no half-steppin'.

It is not enough to know about Jesus, you have to know Him for yourself and you have to submit the totality of your being to His sovereign will. People can fake it til they make it but that road inevitably leads to a sons of Sceva-scale beat-down. All power and authority is in Jesus Christ, and if we expect to be successful in this Christian journey then we have to center ourselves in the middle of His will because it's all about Him - He's the headliner, we're just the hype-men. Jesus doesn't employ His power on behalf of those who contribute to His kingdom, He shows Himself to be mighty on behalf of those who are committed to Him and His kingdom.

Where will you stand when it really matters?

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants us to stand up when it matters,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 9:32 AM :: (0) minds freed

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pick Your Candidate

I have just stumbled across an interesting site that compares your views on issues to the presidential candidates' positions (via HEP) and then lists the candidates in order of how well they correspond to your views. From the site:
If you agree with a candidate, he gets point(s). If you disagree, take point(s) away. Unkown/other results in no points. The number of points given or taken depends on the weight you set. "Meh" is worth 1 point, "important" 2, and "key" is worth 5. The items you disagree about will be listed directly underneath each candidate (if they score greater than zero).
Here are my results:
Kucinich 49
Abortion Rights, No Child Left Behind, Embryonic Stem Cells, Kyoto, Border Fence, Same-Sex Marriage

Obama 45
Abortion Rights, Embryonic Stem Cells, Patriot Act

Gravel 38
Abortion Rights, Embryonic Stem Cells, Kyoto, Border Fence, Same-Sex Marriage

Paul 37
ANWR Drilling, Assault Weapons Ban, Guns - Background Checks, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Net Neutrality, Minimum Wage Increase, Universal Healthcare

Biden 36
Abortion Rights, Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Embryonic Stem Cells, Patriot Act

Edwards 35
Abortion Rights, Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Embryonic Stem Cells, Patriot Act, Iran - Military Action

Clinton 31
Abortion Rights, Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Embryonic Stem Cells, Kyoto, Patriot Act, Iran - Military Action

Dodd 24
Abortion Rights, Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Embryonic Stem Cells, Kyoto, Patriot Act, Iran - Military Action

Richardson 20
Abortion Rights, Death Penalty, Embryonic Stem Cells, Kyoto, Assault Weapons Ban, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Iran - Military Action

Cox -6
McCain -13
Brownback -13
Thompson -18
Huckabee -33
Tancredo -35
Romney -46
Giuliani -48
Hunter -56
No surprises there - Kucinich was my choice in 2004 before he flip-flopped on abortion, figuring that no Pro Life Democrat would win the nomination. That showed me that he lacked character and a spine so that's how I ended up supporting Bob Graham and then Howard Dean. I'm solidly behind Barack Obama for 2008 so, again, this makes perfect sense to me. Give it a try and post your results in the comments.

BTW, my results from this more detailed site are almost identical.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 10:00 PM :: (1) minds freed

Saturday Comics

Predatory Lending
Dream House Deferred
Occidental Protectionism
Obama Girl
Voracious Appetite for Destruction
Pandering Experience
War Authorization Vote
Big Pimpin'
Faith-Based Infrastructure
Keep America Weird
Kobioshi Maru
Bend It Like Beckham
Compromised Cowards
Obsequious Genuflection
Fair Trade Agreement
Chapter 911 Bankruptcy

And my favorite for today: Insane Clown Posse

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 7:30 AM :: (0) minds freed

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Message Received

This week there have been a number of people who have in some way mentioned to me the need for me to write, and I have received the message. We'll see if anyone notices the trees falling in the forest...

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 10:20 PM :: (1) minds freed

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