August 31, 2003

The Catholic Church had a "Index of Forbidden Books".

Under the DMCA, we have a list of Sites you are Forbidden to Index

I blame Barlow.

My son, who watches Bob the Builder, has become enamored with Spud, the annoying goofy scarecrow who is always getting into trouble. I'm so paranoid that I'm actively trying to discourage this. i just think its ironic, that he finds the "bad guy" so attractive.

Maybe we have here the "Lucifer problem" in Paradise Lost: The bad guy gets all the good lines and gets to do things as an active participant. The machines are stuck between Bob and Wendy who encourage their dilligence, and Spud, who draws them away into self-centeredness.

And my boy likes Spud.

August 28, 2003

I guess if instapundit's wife is the instawife, then heirogrammate's wife is the heirouxor. Does that work for you classicists out there?

Oh, the wife's ankle is not broken. We were looking at the xrays and trying to figure out where the break was that the ER doc had said should be there. Well the orthdopedist declared what we thought: that there was no fracture. Which was consistent with her lack of severe pain. She has a torn ligament.

So now she still has a cast and a 4-6 week recovery period. The cast is lightweight (fiberglass) and enables her to walk without crutches, though she's still hobbled. And she pushed herself a bit too much last night trying to do all the things she's felt guilty about not doing. I'm back at work today, but will take a half-day and work from home tomorrow to continue to help her adjust and give the kids a break and take them to the pool before it closes for the fall.

Its great news that there is no break though. Acts 3:8

August 27, 2003

Can cities in Alabama rename themselves to be something like "Ten Commandments"? Or "Theocracy?"

August 24, 2003

And now for something short and pithy:

Is "Bozo the Clown" redundant?

T shirts and bumper stickers are getting really in your face.

One girl was walking down the street with "I don't like you" on her shirt. ("stop crying" was on the back). Whoa! really funny chicko. I came up with alot of clever things I could have said or did about 30 seconds after she was halfway down the block.

Then the car in front of me the other day had this little gem (with the vulgarity intact) "Find 'em, Feel 'em, [vulgarity] 'em, FORGET 'EM". The driver was skinny little twerp. I coulda taken him.

So where is the alien righteousness in the construction of the tabernacle?

God tells the people how to make it. (law)
The raw materials come from egypt (grace) [very funny/crazy related story here]
They make it just like God told them to (obedience)
They make it to be a place where God will dwell with them (grace)
The Spirit is given to the overseers to direct the work (grace)
The whole thing has to be cleansed with blood to make it holy (grace)

I see alot of grace, but I don't see alien righteousness. Even the cleansing with blood is not alien righteossness because Moses finds that everything has been done according to the command of God perfectly by the people (not by somneone else on their behalf) before is is consecrated by blood.

I'm probably just making a huge category mistake to ask the question, but I can't help thinking that there is some kind of model for how our works (not works done on our behalf) will be accetable before God at the last judgement. Done in union with Jesus and empowered by the Spirit (like Bezalael). Done with raw materials provided by sheer grace. But still done by us and accepted as having been done by us justified (yet sinful) people.

I guess I just worry that alien righteousness gets so shoved into the reformed throat that we end up just looking at some closed moebius strip of grace up in the sky.

[update] the blood probably IS alien righteousness in one sense, but its not alien "active obedience"

So yesterday I'm home with the kids while my wife goes to a Women in the Church function. About the time I'd expect her to be getting ready to go I get a call from someone there. My wife twisted her ankle and fell, and then passed out. Since she passed out she was taken to a hospital to x-ray her ankle and make sure she's ok. Wow what a way to get to alert status. I left the kids at the house where the function was held and went on the hospital. It turns out her ankle was broken (and she fainted from the pain), and in a way the doctor found somewhat suprising. Someone at the function later told me they though they heard a crack. [shudder].

[update] props to Lone Xylophone for blogging this before I did.

So tomorrow we'll be going to a orthodpedist and having a full cast put on. That will be better than the plaster split which she can't put any weight on at all.

I thank God that we're in such a large and helpful church. Several people are planning to bring us meals, and we've had an offer of taking the kids off our hands overnight which will help us adjust. This will be big. My wife said at the function: "I'm so sorry; I'm supposed to be the one who helps other people: I'm not supposed to need this much help." which really reflects her heart.

She'll probably have the cast for about 4-6 weeks though the doctor we see monday will have a better idea.

Of cource I take advantage of this giving heart of her's too much. I was recently talking with my pastor about church service and he was encouraging me to stretch myself to serve others and put away my self-serving attitudes. So nothing like an immediate answer to prayer!

The way my heart reacts to this is more of a burden to me than the tasks ahead. Putting my wife first in the abstract sounds fine. I had already (selfishly?) planned to participate in a gaming convention this coming weekend, and while I want and will do the right thing and say home and serve my wife's needs, I also can't avoid thinking about scenarios where I fit in some timeslots in the evening or at times when maybe she can be fine at home. I mean I will be having to go back to work, so will it make a huge difference? (of course, but that I think this way makes me frustrated and bitter)

I always have said I remember a sunday school class long ago where the teacher spoke on the practical aspects of the husband as head. What struck me was how he said asking your wife what she thought should be done was wrong. Say if you were contamplating moving for a better job. The point being, if your wife is godly and submissive, she'll say what she thinks is what you would want to do: it's putting the burden on her. What a husband has to do is consider all the factors: church, friends, family, disruption etc, and make the best decision for everybody which may or may not mean moving to the new job.

I also am bitter about how others might think about this. Even if we decided that I would just go saturday afternoon, I leave others who might be calling up and aking my wife how they can help wondering where I get off "abandoning" my wife at this crucial time.

Yes, my ambiguous feelings clearly show how I've misallocated game playing in my heirarchy of values.

August 19, 2003

One man's vulgarity is a vulgar man's lyric

August 14, 2003

August 12, 2003

I hate the name "hot toddy"

August 11, 2003

I recall Lone Xylophone being concerned with both weight and being a stay at home mom.

Little did she know the secret is to throw out the diswasher and laundry machine.

Report from a teenage girl at summer camp:

"All they talk about is their 'salad' and their 'cake'. The 'salad' is the boys they have relationships with at home, and the 'cake' are the boys that they like at camp."

August 10, 2003

Is it really that hard, people?

People got so hung up on the colors. I think the issue is, 5 levels make sense, and "green, yellow, red" is a basic good color system. But then how do you do inbetween

Red means "planes in the air, take cover now"

Orange means, there's alot of chatter indictating something may be up soon. But if we knew it was really imminent or where it would be we'd be at red. So Orange will be vague

Yellow is where we are at by default because we're not safe and these guys haven't been totally dealth with, and Saudi Arabi and Pakistan have not yet succumbed to US imperialism.

Blue is where we'd like to be,

And green is there for when we're theoretically at peace with all men.

So aside from the vaguness, and the nontraditional blue in the color code, what's the problem? How are we supposed to improve it?

Do you WANT them to say "we hear alot of vague chatter about "big operations". Maybe in NYC, and maybe in the superbowl." What would that serve, other than to ruin NYC and the superbowl? If they can say "we know a team with sarin in in the subway" then we're at red and we need to go into CD mode. But they can hardly ever say that.

August 08, 2003

Well I used to have a positive opinion of John Milbank since people I respected found his Radical Orthodoxy refreshing. But then someone pointed me to this paper: Sovereignty, Empire, Capital, and Terror that he wrote in response to Sepetmber 11. There are some amazing things in this. I think it needs a bit of a fisking.

Concerning the immediate aftermath of the events of September 11, the initial question one should ask is exactly why there was outrage on such a gigantic scale? After all, however unusual and shocking this event may have been, people are killed in large numbers all the time, by terror, politics, and economic oppression. Within a matter of days after the attack on the World Trade Center, the United States already may have killed more people in response to the attacks than died in them, through increased and tightened sanctions in the Near East which bring pressure on governments through the deliberate terrorization of civilian populations. So why this unprecedented outrage? There may be two answers here.

Ok, lets start here. Milbank wants to express personal incredulity that the ďoutrageĒ at 9/11 could be merely the result of the scale of death, because "people are killed all the time" by terrorism, politics, and economic oppression.

I really donít think its all that hard to see what 9/11 was an ďoutrageousĒ event by the mere standards of death.

1. It was an enormous loss of life all at one time. It involved destruction of two very large buildings, which could have had far more occupants.

2. It was the loss of life in the largest single act of terrorism to date, prosecuted with surprise and hardly the knowledge by most Americans that Al Qaeda had declared war against the US.

3. It was an attack on American soil, which was unprecedented in US history. Without immediately launching into analyzing the deep motives of the ruling class of America, the average American thinks his country, by being uniquely powerful and uniquely trying to stand on the right side of history is rather immune to these sorts of attacks.

4. It was on live TV

Iím incredulous that Milbank thinks that the comparison of deaths by other acts of terror, politics, or economic oppression should cause us to approach it with calm detachment. Obviously, even granting that such deaths occur (death by mere politics?) they are in the case of politics and economic oppression, clearly diffuse, indirectand lacking much specific intentionality or malice.

Milbank also makes an astounding claim that there were, within "days" of the attack, the likelyhood that the US had caused as many as 3000 deaths by sanctions in the near east! (actually he say the US has "killed" that many people by sanctions, which is a standard rehtorical trick I find abhorent. I suppose we could say that our legislature has killed everyone who has died of aids without access to expensive drugs because our legislature has upheld its own patent laws.) If this is the absurd reasoning Milbank is going to rely on for the rest of his analysis weíre in for quite a wild ride.

I donít even recall what sanctions we placed on anyone in particular within days. I suppose we cut off the Taliban pretty quickly, but wasnít it like 2 weeks before were were really moving on that front? And then Iím supposed to believe that 3000 people died? And that their deaths can be accounted as deaths from "deliberate terrorization" owing to "pressure on governments?"

Anyway, now Milbank will fill us in with his special insight as to the real reasons that the deaths of 3000 civilians without warning in the heart of the largest US city really bothered us so much.

The first answer is the threat to sovereign power that is involved. It is, after all, sovereign power that is supposed to have the right over life and death, whether in Islam or in the West. The sovereign state can execute people. It can pass laws that increase the lives of some and decrease the lives of others. It can fight wars. It can impose sanctions that kill. Individuals who take upon themselves this right of life and death are considered to be criminals. But to kill on this scale throws everything into confusion. Is this a crime? No, it seems, because killing on this scale is something only the state is supposed to be capable of. Is it then an act of war? Well, if so, then is it a different kind of war, because only sovereign states can wage war. It actually seems to be worse than normal war waged by a state, because it is a threat to the very idea of the state itself, and so to sovereignty itself.

While I think we can bypass the sneer that Milbank seems to have while he lays out the litany of death that soverign states are considered to have the authority to do, I think I'm in agreement with him here. It is an additional feature ofour outrage (and fear and confusion) that we a) didn't know who did it, b) didn't know what their demands were c) didn't know "why they hated us". Thus the attack was a challenge to the whole structure of modernity as such: the symbols of finance and miltary power.

[more to come...]

Lileks: "if you donít vote because no candidate vows to privatize the sewage systems and disband the Food and Drug Administration, donít come crying to me when your marginal tax rate hits 71 percent"

August 07, 2003

Instapundit can mock all he wants, but its good to see Ashcroft taking up the Reno's dropped ball on prosecuting obscenity. Obscenity cases almost always win. And the terror war can't mean that we put enforcement of other laws on hold, just because libertarians view them as directed at vicitimless crimes.

The accused in this case were profiled in the Frontline special here. Even PBS had to turn of the cameras in disgust at what these guys do.
NARRATOR: Today they're shooting the box cover for Lizzie's new feature.

LIZZIE BORDEN: A girl being kidnapped, being forced to have sex against her will.

NARRATOR: Lizzie's newest film breaks many of even porn's taboos.

LIZZIE BORDEN: Being butchered at the end, and spit on. She's being degraded.

NARRATOR: The actress, Veronica Caine, apparently doesn't know exactly what she's in for.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Just go with the flow, all right? Let happen what's going to happen.

LIZZIE BORDEN: She's, like, one of my best friends.

INTERVIEWER: And you're about to put her through-



LIZZIE BORDEN: She knows me. She's my best friend. I know she can take it. And at the end, I give her a hug. I take her out to dinner. We go shopping.

INTERVIEWER: Is she going to take a beating, a real beating?

LIZZIE BORDEN: Yeah. She's really going to get hit. She likes it. It's good. Sometimes, it makes you more horny when you're getting hit. [...]

NARRATOR: Before the scene is finished, Lizzie's friend, Veronica, will be kicked and beaten. She will have [...] sex with each of these actors. Then they will pretend to cut her throat and leave her for dead in a pool of blood.

LIZZIE BORDEN: I'm a female director, and it's easy for me to say, "Oh, come on, do it," you know, and not just a man. If a guy asks, they're, like, "Oh, he's a pervert." But if a woman asks, they do it.

NARRATOR: We were here because this is one of the places where porn is now regularly pushing the limits. But this was more than we bargained for. And while it appeared that what was happening was legally consensual, we left. The incident, though, caused us to wonder not just about the content but about the human cost, a cost that even porn producers see every day.

Lileks on Robinson: "'God has once again brought an Easter out of Good Friday.' said Rev. Gene Robinson after his election as the first openly gay bishop. Good heavens, man, why donít you just do the full James Cameron: hop up on the cross and shout Iím King of the Jews!"

His main point misses the mark though because of Robinson's claim that his divorce was totally amicable and he's always been involved with his kids. Is there counterevidence on this?

August 06, 2003

An african bishop ""If the Anglican communion is seen as being the communion that endorses homosexuality and all that goes with it, Africa will go Islamic."

God to Andrew Sullivan: "what will it be Andrew: Gay marriage for the west, or sharia for Africa"?

NPR recently (right after a piece on the ECUSA and V Gene Robinson) broadcast this commentary on the sad state of contemporary hymns.

Anglican N. T. Wright: "Not for one minute does [Paul] contemplate saying, 'some of us believe in maintaining traditional taboos on sexual relations within prescribed family limits, others think these are now irrelevant in Christ, so both sides must respect the other.' He says, 'throw him out'."

Long ago I taught a sunday School class for adults on Leviticus. At he start of the class, i dealt with the obvious question. "Why Leviticus?" One of my offered reasons was that it is increasingly common to hear the argument offered that the bible's condemnations of homsexual acts is of a piece with those against shellfish or pork. This kind of argument was advanced in the recent sinful decision of the Epicsopal Church.

But a careful study of Leviticus shows this not to be the case. Actually, a good translation of Leviticus will show this not to be the case. Jim Jordan explains the difference between "abominable" and "detestable"
As mentioned, the word to`eba has to do with personal abhorrence, not cultic rejection. It occurs in Genesis 43:32 and 46:34 and Exodus 8:26 to indicate that the Egyptians found shepherding an abhorrent occupation. It is used in Leviticus 18 and 20 to refer to homosexual acts and idolatry, considered as non-cultic, whole-lifestyle activities that result in expulsion from the land (Ex. 18:22, 26, 27, 29, 30; 20:13). It is used throughout Deuteronomy for sexual sins and sins of idolatry. Waltke summarizes the things God abominates, including "images (Dt. 27:15) and the gold and silver belonging to them (7:25); the wages of prostitution (23:18); a false balance (Prov. 11:1); those with a perverse mind (11:20); lying lips (12:22); the sacrifice of the wicked (15:8); an arrogant man (16:5); the prayer of a lawbreaker (28:9); incense offered without regard to ethical conduct (Is. 1:13); etc." (Waltke, p. 13.) [emphasis added]
By way of contrast, sheqets is used of acts of idolatry considered as cultic activities that result in expulsion from the sanctuary. What God detests are violations of the Second Commandment. God detests liturgical idolatry. Such actions take place in the context of the sanctuary, and result in God's expectoration from the sanctuary. An apt illustration from Israel's later history comes from the period after the separation of Ephraim from Judah. The sin of Jeroboam I was to worship the Lord using pagan rituals, a violation of the Second Commandment: liturgical idolatry (1 Ki. 12:28-32). God cursed Jeroboam at his false sanctuary (1 Ki. 12:33--13:6). Later, Ahab introduced the worship of the false god Baal, a violation of the First Commandment: covenantal idolatry (1 Ki. 17:31-33). God cursed Ahab in the land (1 Ki. 17:1; 21:23-24; 22:37-38).
We notice that in Leviticus "detestable" [shequets] is not used of idols. It is used only with reference to the animal and dietary laws.
(If the last sentence appears to contradicts the second paragraph above, its because Leviticus does not contemplate acts of idolatry that take place as acts of worship that are directed to Yahweh, but only a "life of idolatry" to false gods that is done apart from the sanctuary). Unfortunately no translation consitently translates the words one way or the other, so the distinction is obscured.

So homosexual acts are abominations like lying and arrogance and prostituition. Not like the destable act of eating shellfish and then offering a sacrifice.

Following this logic though, what the Episocpal church has done is to take a man who admits to unrepentant abominable acts, and has admitted him to the sanctuary (and actually, they did this long ago when they made him a priest) which is itself detestable. Following Jordan's article, this is the kind of thing that leads to an "abomination" (actually shequets) of desolation.

August 05, 2003

It takes a village...

to raid and plunder another villiage.

(feel free to pile on)

August 02, 2003

Today I finsihed putting in the final coat of stucco on the side of my front porch roof. Now all thats left is priming and painting the wood, installing a drywall cieling inside, and stripping and repainting!


[update] and install insulation

De script shun




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